Every Move [Giveaway]

EveryMove Prize Pack

Have you heard of EveryMove? I hadn’t until a few weeks ago, but it’s a pretty neat little site/app. It can automatically pull in the fitness data you are posting on other sites (think Strava, Garmin Connect, RunKeeper, etc.) or you can manually enter an activity. For every activity you enter, you earn points.

EveryMove app screenshot

These points can be put toward rewards! A majority of them are for pretty good discounts on purchasing a product, so it’s not like they’re all freebies. I recently earned a discount on a transition wrap from Orange Mud, which is actually something I’ve had my eye on. (No… not for triathlon since I don’t tri… but it can be used to cover car seats, useful for post races or runs that start away from home.) You can scroll through the rewards available and select which one you are working toward.

EveryMove app screenshot

There is a social component to the site too, so you can make friends there and use the community for support. But you are also perfectly able to work toward rewards on your own commenting or spreading the love.

They recently launched a revamped site as well as their app and to celebrate they’ve offered a prize pack to JillWillRun readers.

EveryMove Prize Pack

The prize pack will include:

Enter via the Rafflecopter widget. You can get points for following a whole bunch of companies on social media accounts as a thank you for offering this awesome prize pack.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

LYFE Kitchen Preview

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I hadn’t heard of LYFE Kitchen until a few weeks ago, but there is a new location open here in Las Vegas (well…. it’s in Henderson, but that detail probably only really matters to people who live here!) and I got to go for a preview sampling. They were running through how it all works before their official open date, which was on Wednesday!

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LYFE Kitchen is a kind of fast-casual restaurant that uses locally-harvested and sustainable ingredients whenever possible. So here in the desert, I’m guessing not much locally harvested! (Yes, I have a garden… I know it is possible to grow stuff here. But it’s hard. This year my peppers have flourished, but everything else is struggling. Last year I had tomato overload, which I’m missing this year.) Art Smith is the executive chef, but since I know him from Top Chef: Masters and eating at his restaurant Art and Soul in D.C. (apparently others know him from Oprah) it’s pretty safe to assume he’s NOT cooking at the local location!

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The restaurant is bright, pretty and it just has a “healthy” vibe. There are fresh herbs growing right inside the door! The menu looks tasty and I want to try a lot of items on it. I think my toddler would like the food here a lot as well. Here’s a partial view of the menu, that was displayed at the register.

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I got to pick a main item, a side and a drink. Here’s what I got:

Morning Tofu Wrap
scrambled tofu, gardein™ sausage, Daiya™ cheddar, arugula, avocado, cherry tomato, red onions, chipotle aioli in a whole wheat tortilla salsa fresca on the side
This was super tasty. One of the staff told me he eats that almost every day he’s there and he’s not a vegetarian. I really liked it!

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Ginger Mint Chia water
filtered water infused with ginger, lime, mint and chia seeds
This was just subtle and refreshing. Like drinking fancy-pants water!

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Berry bowl
uh…. berries.
What can I say… it’s a bowl of berries. But they were fresh, beautiful and there were no weird sauces or sugars dumped all over it. My kid would have said “MINE!” when it arrived.

lyfe-kitchen-berries.jpg

They need a location on the west side of town now, so I can go there more often. But when I’m on that side of town, I’m definitely going to go again. It’s located right near Whole Foods, a Barre3 studio and Red Rock Running Company, so this is my kind of retail plaza!

140 S Green Valley Pkwy #142
Henderson, NV, United States 89012

Cuerpaso: Natural Butt Lift & Tummy Tuck

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I was sent the workout DVD Cuerpaso to review, “cuerpaso” meaning amazing body in Spanish and Portuguese (so they claim). It stars Tadeo, who is (I’m told) a “celebrity fitness trainer” and the DVD incorporates “endurance and strength training soccer drills with energetic Brazilian dance movements to guarantee a fit, sexy body.” Guarantee, huh?  Also, it says that you will have a better butt, sleep better and your sex life will improve. Tall order from one little 48-minute workout DVD!

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I will admit, the workout is fun. I broke a sweat and got my heart rate up. It was entertaining! Entertaining because it was a good time, but also because of the instructor and the girls in the video. The instructor, Tadeo, is easygoing and seems like he’d be fun to hang out with. But he makes me chuckle with some of the things he says. And the girls… well, I’m pretty sure they were picked to be in the video based on how they looked in their bikinis and not their Cuerpaso workout prowess. And honestly, who wears a fringe-y, string bikini to workout? Even on the beach, the vast majority of people probably wouldn’t wear that. Tadeo himself didn’t wear a speedo (although he mentions in the video that he rocks one!) to workout.

Cuerpaso video

The girls in the video weren’t like the cast in some workout videos where you feel intimidated by a mass of perfect people doing the workout perfectly. They were never all choreographed together, they looked clumsy from time-to-time and orange-bikini-girl even falls down at one point! I actually found it refreshing and relatable! And funny!

Cuerpaso videoI learned some good info from this video, one of which is that soccer players have the best butts. I know this now because Tadeo told me so.
Cuerpaso Video

And he wants you to improve your rear view from doing this workout. He’s watching out for you…Cuerpaso video

Really, he wants you to improve your rear view! Tadeo likes what he sees. (Orange bikini girl isn’t keeping up with her glute bridges!)Cuerpaso video

Tadeo also hopes you will enjoy how you look naked. He even said that after his ex-girlfriend and he would “finish a session” they would stand in front of a mirror and just enjoy how they looked naked. And that statement made me laugh out loud. More power to them! More power to them…

I don’t know how you’re going to judge that your sex life improves from this workout. Isn’t it highly probable that you’ll have a great session and a regular session at different times regardless of your workout just because of life? And I am now going to call it a “session” all the time because of Tadeo calling it that.

At one point Tadeo says the workout will help rid you of cellulite, because he hates cellulite and doesn’t want to see that on you. Kind of a misguided statement, since cellulite is a naturally occurring thing, some people have it more prominently than others. It’s almost like saying, “I hate eyelashes and don’t want to see them on you.” He does acknowledge that magic creams won’t help you with cellulite though, so there’s that positive.

I’ve sprinkled some sarcasm throughout this review, but it really is a good workout. And apparently he teaches a class in Santa Monica. If I had known that when I was there a couple of weeks ago, I would have tried to attend. (I’m just building up more and more reasons for why I need a return vacation to Santa Monica!) Oh, and according to the pictures… the women in the class wear normal workout clothing!

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

4th of July Runs in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Fireworks
Las Vegas Fireworks

Image from guardianlv.com

Did you know that Las Vegas is one of the top 10 destinations where average hotel rates are below $150 during the 4th of July holiday weekend*? Probably because it’s super hot and people can’t fathom coming here… but then again, every one of the casinos/bars/hotels is air-conditioned and pools are abundant.

As a Las Vegas resident, I can pretty much guarantee you that I will NOT be in a casino. And odds are high I will not be at a bar. Nor a hotel. But I am contemplating signing up for a 4th of July 5k. Here are the ones in the area I know about.

Roadrunner Saloon 4th of July Blast

Run by Desert Sky Adventures, this race starts/ends at the Roadrunner Saloon and takes participants on an out-back course on the Western Beltway Trail. It starts at 7am, costs $40 to signup at this time and participants get a shirt, goodie bag and medal.

Summerlin Firecracker 5k

Different registration costs for Summerlin and Non-Summerlin residents right now ($25 vs $35), participants get a shirt and refreshments. The course goes along trails in the Summerlin area, no traffic. At the finish participants can stay for the patriotic parade and other festivities. It starts at 6:30am.

Ultiman 5k

Presented by the UFC, this event happens in downtown Las Vegas, start/finish is at Hogs & Heifers. The course has UFC FIT™ challenges along the course and participants get a shirt and medal for completing the course. The race starts at 8am, after a warm-up at 7:30 led by UFC-related people. Right now it costs $45 for this race, but prices will increase to $50 on June 30.

So…. if you have no plans for the holiday, come roast in the desert for a good price. You can participate in a race AND party hard. There are lots of things happening around town, fireworks are usually shot off from several resorts all around the valley and you can usually find a pool or some A/C to cool off. Plus, if you visit Vegas and spend your hard-earned dollars, you are supporting my local economy! :-)

*According to Travelocity, top 10 destinations where hotels are below $150 on average for the holiday:

1. Las Vegas ($105)
2. Albuquerque ($112)
3. Colorado Springs ($116)
4. Memphis ($126)
5. Dallas / Ft. Worth ($126)
6. Orlando ($131)
7. Atlanta ($139)
8. Palm Springs ($140)
9. Minneapolis ($141)
10. Phoenix ($142)

Immersive Fitness: A New Approach to Group Fitness

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I like group fitness classes, I just rarely have time for them. When you have to factor in the drive time that surrounds the workout, it eats into the day. Especially when you have a full-time job and a toddler you want to hang out with. Really specific classes (like barre…. I love you barre classes) are at studios and not at the corner gym, so it’s even further away to drive there.

But sometimes, you need to make time to hit one of these classes…. and if I had the opportunity to try a class in the new Les Mills IMMERSIVE FITNESS™ project, I’d be all over that!

Check it out:

Les Mills is the creator of many popular group fitness classes – BODYPUMP™ (weights), BODYCOMBAT™ (martial arts), RPM™ (indoor cycling), – and the new IMMERSIVE FITNESS™ classes are almost interactive, in that the studio has a cinema quality video projected onto a screen. The instructors cues are perfectly timed to synchronize with the music and graphics… thus the participants are “immersed” in the experience. Instead of just counting their reps, those involved get to react to visual cues. (Think ducking out of the way of objects flying toward you on the video.)

The promo video stars Genevieve Aitken, a stunt performer and actress. And while the classes probably won’t get you prepared to be an actual stunt person, you could delude yourself into thinking you are one for the duration of the class. I couldn’t help but think that some of the footage in the video could lead into the next specialty niche races, get chased by some crazies and fight them off to earn your medal!

You can check out thepr0ject on Instagram to see what’s going on with this as they go throughout their European tour to show it off. One reason to keep an eye on the account? They’re planning a US tour in 2015 with pop-up studios to allow people all over to try this concept. (Please put Las Vegas on the list. Please put Las Vegas on the list. Please put Las Vegas on the list.)

What do you think? Would you want to try this kind of class?

The next level of fitness is here. IMMERSIVE FITNESS™ surrounds participants with cinema quality video content projected onto screens of a purpose-built studio.  Exercise moves synchronize perfectly with music and graphics, creating a truly immersive fitness experience. Learn more!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Les Mills. The opinions and text are all mine.

My 5th Stitch Fix

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I received my 5th Stitch Fix on Thursday. If you’re unfamiliar with the service, it is a styling service… You pay a $20 styling fee, fill out a style profile and get a box of 5 items selected by a stylist just for you based on feedback you provide. If you keep anything, your $20 styling fee is applied toward the purchase. If you buy everything you get a discount.

This box had a lot of misses, not all due to style but because of fit issues. I truly felt like a little girl playing dress up with much of these.

Pink Martini – Sally Mixed Striped Dress – $64

This is a dress with pockets! That’s totally awesome, dresses hardly ever have pockets. Doesn’t the world know I have a phone to carry around all the time? But alas, the sole presence of pockets could not redeem this one. First, I hate sweetheart necklines. Second, I was swimming in it… I think I need a bigger rack for this. Third, while it’s cute, the color made me feel a little like a creamsicle.
RETURN!
stitchfix5-orangedress

LA MADE – Perry Mix Striped Crossfront Racerback Maxi Dress – $98

I’m not a maxi dress person. Apparently I’m too short, although I’m not really that short and there are plenty of people shorter than me who wear them. Maybe they tailor them… I’m too lazy for that. Other problems with this dress, besides the puddling of material around my feet, the top was way too large. I don’t own an appropriate bra for the racerback. The crossfront is just wide open, thus I’m certain a toddler or a strong breeze would open it up to expose me in public.
RETURN!

stitchfix5-maxidress

Tart – Caroline Tie Dye Print Maxi Skirt – $98

First of all…. nearly $100 bucks for a polyester skirt? No… also, it’s too long, like every maxi item in existence. Also, it’s loose around the waist. I can pull it up to my armpits and it’s about the right length to my feet, but then I just look like I’m wearing the ugliest muumuu ever!
RETURN!

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Ellison – Josie Cut-Out Embroidery Detail Cotton Tank – $48

I like the idea of this tank, it’s got potential. But it costs too much for a white tank that will get dirty too easily, it’s way too big and billowy and I could probably have worn it when I was 8th months pregnant.
RETURN!

stitchfix5-whitetank

Kensie Jeans – Kaleigh Ankle Biter Skinny Jean – $88

But I don’t have to lose my styling fee completely… they sent me a pair of green jeans (something we’ve tried in the past because for some reason, I’ve really wanted green jeans!) and they work. They’ve got a great amount of stretch so they are comfortable and I don’t feel like I’m in a competition to stuff myself in sausage casing. The only downside is that I’m living in the earthly hair dryer right now (Las Vegas) and I probably won’t be wearing long pants for a few months. Unless I can escape and go somewhere else… Hmmm…. I need a vacation somewhere cool just to wear specific pants? San Francisco? I went there in the summer once and nearly froze to death!
KEEP!

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Getting the box each time is a lot of fun. And the items that I’ve kept have consistently garnered me compliments when I go out. But I think I’m going to hold off on the service for a while. Maybe I’ll revisit it in the fall, who knows?

I pay for my own Fixes, nobody asked or paid me to post these. But if you do sign up for Stitch Fix using my referral link, I get a small credit, which is much appreciated!

Friday Fête

Athletic Propulsion Labs Women's Shoes

I am a creature of habit… I like having a schedule. And it’s been weird to have my daughter’s school closed for a few days, go on vacation for a week and then attend a conference for work. That’s over 2 weeks where my schedule has been totally off the norm. And it’s been kind of fun! But I guess I’m looking forward to settling into routines more, but I need to look for more opportunities to be adventuresome. I’m kind of feeling like I want to go on vacation by myself, just to explore some place new without anyone else’s schedule! Has anyone done that? I went to the BlogHer conference in 2008 on my own, but I stayed at the host hotel with friends when I got there and of course there was the whole conference so I wasn’t truly on my own… but it was still fun!


Mizuno Baton

If you’ve got a smartphone, consider downloading the Mizuno Baton app. For every mile run with the app a dollar is donated to Back on my Feet. It’s super simple to use and you can run other GPS tracking apps on your phone simultaneously.

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I just like seeing running going toward something good… and now more people can be involved in charity running without having to fundraise thousands of dollars. (Not that I would ever discourage that approach either… I’ve done it and I feel like it’s always been a positive in my life!)


Your Order?

My kid woke up today with a very specific request. “Eat mato, nees, emem?” Translation: “Eat tomato, cheese and M&M’s?” She was a little disappointed when there were no M&M’s on her plate, but she was pleased with blueberries.


Fix Me

I got a new Stitch Fix yesterday. I’ll take photos and share them soon. It’s always fun to get that box in the mail!


CrunchLive

I had a one-week trial to CrunchLive, it’s basically an online portal that gives us people that don’t live in LA or NYC access to the cool classes they offer at Crunch gyms. For just $9.99 a month you can have access to any of the classes on the system. During my trial period I did an ab class (which was tough) and since I’ve been on a barre kick lately, I had to try their Barre Assets class. It was fun, much more ballerina-ish than other classes I’ve done. The instructor was very much ballet company instructor and in some ways I felt pretty clumsy doing the moves (I’m not a dancer!) but it was still a great workout!

Barre Assets   Crunch Live

Sign up for a free trial if you’re interested, it’s always fun to get some new movement in your life, right?


APL

Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL) a company whose technology was banned by the NBA has debuted running shoes. I wonder if they stand a chance of making it in this field, if they’ll end up banned by the USATF or if they’ll just be a weird niche off in the corner talking to itself. It’s a tough field to break into! Best of luck!

Athletic Propulsion Labs Women's Shoes


AERRO

A Kickstarter campaign that just makes me laugh because of the whole title:
AERRO: Athletic Shorts and Pants that Prevent Sweaty Balls


Brooks Love Survey

Lastly, a survey from Brooks reveals:
76% of all runners (84% of males) believe that people look sexy when they’re running and three-quarters agree that they’d be more attracted to someone if they found out he or she was a runner. Turning thoughts into action, half of all surveyed (51%) have used running as their pick-up line.

I’ve never used running as a pick-up line. Mainly because I was married once I started running and that just doesn’t impress my husband that much.

Brooks Survey Infographic

Buoy Chair – Sit Actively! [GIVEAWAY!]

Man sitting on a Buoy chair

A while back I shared a link on Twitter and Facebook about an awesome chair that I stumbled upon online. I sit at my desk to work on a computer all day… and people aren’t really made to sit that long. But it’s the way our world has evolved and I don’t see a treadmill desk in my future. I’ve tried sitting on an exercise ball at times, but it’s really the wrong height for my desk. So when I saw this awesome chair, I was excited. I had to share it with everyone.

The Buoy chair by Turnstone.

Man sitting on a Buoy chair

And after I shared the link, Turnstone reached out to me and I got to talk with the company a little; then they offered to send me one! Holy cow!

Yep… it’s a little wacky looking, but it’s also kind of sleek and sexy. (Cause I think a chair is sexy!) When my toddler walked into my office and saw it instead of my regular chair, she said, “Uh oh! Uh oh!” But that’s mainly because she didn’t have somewhere to sit with that chair in the regular place.

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The Buoy in it’s natural habitat… AKA my messy office as opposed to a professional photo!

The Buoy has a curved bottom, so you are unsteady and you have to use your core to stay stable, kind of like sitting on a ball but you don’t have to worry about inflating it AND it has a lever to raise/lower the chair to the perfect height for your workstation/body.

Lever on Buoy Chair

I love sitting on it while I work, I find that I focus better and it doesn’t fatigue me. It’s very lightweight, so it’s easy to move out of the way (I can tuck it all the way under my desk) and roll the regular chair back in place for the toddler to sit at my desk and color. (She likes to use a pen all over a notepad and pick up my desk phone to say “HELLO!”) The only problem I have, as a telecommuter I have a lot of videoconferences and I find myself swaying/rocking back and forth when sitting on it (more than you have to in order to be steady, I just like to move… I’m a fidgeter!) and then worry that I look like a nut to my colleagues! Of course, they already know I’m a little wacky anyway!

I can’t come up with any downsides to this chair. I can sit on it for my entire workday, it’s comfy and it just makes me smile. If I could convince my work to start replacing everyone’s chairs with these, I totally would. Of course, I know a lot of my coworkers wouldn’t want to make that change.

But if you read my site, you probably have a little bit of a vested interest in health (or you’re related to me) and are probably interested in ways to improve your wellbeing. Right? You want one of these, right?

Well, the awesome people at Turnstone are letting me GIVE ONE AWAY via my site. This may be one of the cooler giveaways I’ve had on here. This baby is valued at $200+! They’re even letting the winner choose their own body/cap colors… so it’s customized for the winner.

Enter via the Rafflecopter widget. You can earn entries by following Turnstone and me on Facebook/Twitter, tweeting a message or get 5 entries by leaving a comment on this post!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Yes, I received the chair for free. I have to mention that for legal reasons. But I totally love it and I’m really grateful that Turnstone offered me that opportunity and if I had tons of money, I would buy one for all of you. (Except you… you know who you are!)

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

Gone Cruisin’

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So…. I’ve been on vacation this past week. I was hanging out on this beast:

Carnival Cruise Imagination

That would be a cruise ship (the Carnival Imagination, to be specific.) We boarded on Sunday, June 8 and got back into port on Thursday, June 12.) We had stops at Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico. We went with my mom, her husband, my brother and his family (3 kids and a wife) and my step-sister and her husband. Big crew, 12 of us in total.

I was worried about the trip for a multitude of reasons:

  • I’ve gotten seasick on about every boat on the ocean I’ve ever been on. (I was on my uncle’s sailboat where it was so calm the sails were worthless… I still wretched over the side.)
  • My husband gets motion sick very easily.
  • I was taking my 21-month-old daughter, I had no idea how she would react on a boat.
  • I worry about too much stuff all the time.

Well… I DID NOT get seasick. And Alex seemed fine on the boat too. My husband, on the other hand, well…. he didn’t handle the boat so well. He was not feeling very tip-top.

Alex’s normal bed time is 8pm. So she ended up going to bed a little late, and we went to bed super early each night. The stateroom on the boat was tiny. When you fill it with a king-size bed and a crib, we didn’t have much room to move around and if we didn’t settle in, Alex had a hard time laying down to sleep. So that was one huge perk of this trip, I got a lot of sleep each night.

We floated through the night and arrived in Catalina on Monday morning. Catalina is quaint… it’s a cute little town where the majority of people drive golf carts around. And the tourists drive rented golf carts around. Which makes it a scary little town too!

Catalina Island

We did not rent a golf cart, we just pushed Alex around in her stroller. Which was great to get her to take a nap that day. But she got a lot of sun and ended up with a burn, and now she’s rockin’ a sweet farmer tan. (I say that tongue-in-cheek… I know the tan is skin damage and I feel like a crappy mom for damaging my sweet baby’s skin!)

To get to Catalina Island we had to take a little boat from the cruise ship. The boat anchored a ways off shore.

Carnival Imagination off Catalina Island

The little boats carried about 30 passengers, so we had a nice long line to wait in to get off and on the ship, but they moved pretty quickly. I would happily return to Catalina to run the Catalina Eco Marathon (or half… or 10k) someday!

Then we floated through the night to Ensenada, Mexico. I don’t know what to say about Ensenada… I can’t really figure out why it is a tourist destination or why they would take a cruise ship full of people there. To me, it was a kind of dirty city and I feel a little bit wrong that so much of their economy is based on people screaming at the tourists on the streets trying to get everyone to buy cheesy trinkets. And exploiting small children to sell tourists gum or just flat out sitting on the street with their kids along with a can for money. We got off the bus and paid $3 a person to take a rinky dink little shuttle bus into the shopping district, where the tour guide warned us we were not allowed to drink alcohol on the streets and that we shouldn’t buy silver from the people on the streets because it would not be real pure silver. Alex hated the bus, she clung to us for dear life. Due to that, there was absolutely no way I was going to pay for an excursion to some blow hole on the island where she would have to sit on a bus for even longer. A 3+ hour roundtrip on a bus and to a crowded area (with more shopping available) is too much for her. And after a little bit of walking along the shopping district, I decided I couldn’t take any more people screaming at me to get my hair braided and we went back to the boat.

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Wednesday was “Fun Day at Sea” which I could describe as, “Crummy Day at Sea” or “Meh Day at Sea” or “Ok Day at Sea” depending on what elements I focus on. My husband really felt bad this day and spent the whole day in bed. That annoyed me at first, both that he felt sick and that he wasn’t hanging with us.  But the boat rocking was rather disconcerting. And once I accepted that I was spending the day with Alex on my own for the most part, I was a little happier. I used this day to go try the track on the boat. 11 laps on the track equaled one mile. And it was rather nauseating to run around it with that rocking motion to me. But I can now say that I ran several laps on a track at sea. We also played two rounds of mini golf on the boat (yep, she had a tiny putter and a golf ball and tried to play golf!) We watched a goofy puppet show. We watched the chicken olympics. (Where they basically asked a group of passengers to do stupid tasks that involved rubber chickens, usually walking in some way with the chickens tucked between their legs.) We pointed at birdies. We watched people come down the water slides.

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There were lots of activities going on all day long on the boat, so whether you get off in port or just stay on there are things to do. But most are not really toddler-friendly. They have Camp Carnival on the boat, which is basically a childcare program. But kids under 2 are not automatically accepted, you have to pay extra for them. The crew is super nice to little kids though, constantly saying hi and waving at her.  Kids who are not potty-trained are not allowed in the pools. Overall I don’t think I would recommend a cruise for people with very little kids.

And having a couple of days without internet drove me crazy. You can buy internet on the boat, but the fees are outrageous. .75 a minute? Or you can buy a 60-minute or 120-minute package to bring your per minute rate down to as little as .44 a minute, which is still stupid-expensive.

I was super burnt-out by the food on the boat by the end of the trip. I was tired of the buffet, I was tired of the dining room. I just wanted to eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast, which could have been possible if they had a non-dairy milk available. So I basically had eggs and grapefruit every morning, which got old by the end. The best food I ate on board: an arugula-pepper panini and a “melting chocolate cake.” The rest was just kind of so-so. (I’m not a big fan of buffets, so there is that disclaimer.)

Right now I don’t really feel like I’m eager to do another cruise. Maybe if I went with the right friend(s) because the thought of going on one with my husband being all grumpy/sick doesn’t sound thrilling either. And the crazy vertigo I’m experiencing right now is not something I want to repeat.

The highlights came from experiences with my kid. She learned so many new things on this trip and it’s really funny having your kid wake you up in the morning asking to see the ocean by saying, “Water? Water? Oh-Shit? Oh-Shit?” (She wasn’t cussing, the way she said “ocean” sounded just like “oh shit.”) Watching her excitement at interacting with cousins was fun too. My 6-year-old niece was telling us a story about how her teacher adds “-poo” to the end of kids’ names to play with them, like Brookie-poo. Alex was listening to this story and she jumped right in with “Mommy-poo” and “Daddy-poo” and adding “-poo” to the end of every name she could think of. It was awesome.

After we got off the boat we went to Santa Monica. I took the baby to the pier, she rode her first carousel (she would not sit on a horse), I took her to the beach for the first time (she would not walk on the sand) and she spent about 30-40 minutes going down a slide repeatedly at a park near the beach.

Santa Monica Carousel

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If I think about the trip as a whole, I feel my blood pressure rising. (Not literally… but it does make me feel stress and anxiety.) But there were a few really good moments, and if I choose to just focus on those individual elements I can smile. But I may still need a vacation to recover from my vacation.

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Foam Glow 5K [race report]

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Saturday evening I ran the antithesis of my morning 5K that day… instead of a fun little community race with people doing it for fun and for time, the night one was all about partying. The Foam Glow 5K took place at Sam Boyd Stadium and was host to 9000 party-goers. I was really quite surprised at the amount of booze people were consuming BEFORE the “race” had even started. Like most of these fun/themed runs, it was not timed.

I was a little on the fence about this race… I ran The Color Run and had fun. I ran a Color Me Rad race and had less fun. I’ve made fun of the crazy themed races that are emerging every minute. But I went to the race with a couple of friends and tried to keep an open mind, which served well because…

I. HAD. A. BLAST!

I wore the race t-shirt, one of the rare instances where I would actually do that. It was a nice, crisp, white canvas that I could totally destroy with the color!

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We got there with plenty of time to kill, but we got great parking and got to be involved in all of the pre-party stuff. Initially I wasn’t going to get messy before the race… but that plan quickly got tossed out the window.

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The race was set to start at 8pm, or as the sun set so we could run in the dark. When we started to see people filtering over to the start line, we made our toward the start line. I knew we didn’t want to be at the back of the pack because they were releasing the runners in waves. They just strung ropes up in between segments of people once the start chute was filled and the start time was near. We ended up being in the second wave. Looking back at the sea of people behind us about 20 minutes before the race started, I was glad I didn’t have to wait for all those people ahead of me!

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The starting lineup… 9000 runners. It extends back and curves around, you can see some of the lineup between those trees.

It got dark and we started running. And then after a little bit, we started to walk. My co-runners weren’t quite prepped to run a whole 5k straight, but that’s okay. We had fun power-walking and running. The first foam station was, unfortunately, out of commission when we got to it. There was an ambulance with flashing lights, so I wonder if someone was hurt or sick. (Drank too much in the heat then ran?) But the other foam stations were blasting, you had to run through a nice layer of foam that was accumulated on the ground, while foam shot out of cannons at you. There’s no avoiding it, you will get messy. And it’s fun!

We ran across the finish line… kind of. It was the only finish line I’ve been to where you actually run toward the finish line, then pause to cross the line while waiting for people to take pictures!

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My friend Jenn at the finish line. Her first 5K!

Then the after-party! If you don’t feel like you have gotten colorful enough in the pre-party and during the race, you have the opportunity to dance to club music while getting blasted with even more foam under blacklights with glow necklaces!

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We jumped into the party, got covered in a new layer of colorful foam and headed to the blacklight photo booth to take our picture.

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My hands were too slippery… I couldn’t get my glow necklaces fastened!

Then we went back for more foam! But after a bit, it actually started to make me feel cold! Also, the foam REALLY REALLY REALLY BURNS the eyeballs. I was surprised at how much that hurt. If they marketed it as “Join 9000 of your not-closest friends as we spray foam into your face that burns your eyes out of the sockets” nobody would sign up! Okay, it’s not that bad. But it does hurt a lot! I actually got pretty adept at turning sideways and running with my eyes closed in the race. But there was no way to avoid it when you’re being sprayed from every direction in that after party!

I don’t think I’ve ever been messier in my whole life, but it was so much fun. I got home and my husband told me I looked like I’d been murdered.

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I still have a little bit of lingering color around my fingernails and my eyelids were kind of hard to get un-pink, but the rest of me was clean immediately after my shower. It didn’t stain my hair at all (DAMN!). The next test will be washing my running clothes to see how they come through. The shoes are permanently colored, but they already had a couple of layers of color on them from the other colorful runs I’d done. They are my designated “color-added” run shoes. (I’m trying to avoid using the official name of one of those races to describe them all! I’m so weird with technicalities like that! Like “Kleenex” vs. tissue.)

If you get the chance, grab some friends and do one of these. I actually have some other friends that I’d love to take with me on a race like this because I just know we’d have a blast.