Gymboree Playproof by Nanotex review

We tried out the Gymboree Playproof line, which is a uniform line that Gymboree started carrying this back-to-school season.  The clothes are made with Nanotex.

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Some of the features of the Nanotex line include:

  • Wrinkle Resistant
  • Releases Stains in the Wash
  • Breathes Easily

These are made of quality material that seems to stand up well. We did not get to put them to the true test of multiple washes and running all around in them daily because my kids don’t wear uniforms to school, but they would be great for dress up!

For the boys -

Long sleeve polo shirt – comfortable, light, and good looking! The long sleeve polo shirt is preppy and nice. Currently on sale for $14.99.

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Light twill pants – these come with a cute belt, are comfortable and light. We didn’t put them to the stain test, but the fabric is quality and I’m confident it would hold up well with all that boys would put it through! These are currently on sale for $14.99

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I also liked these two items and I like that the shorts/pants come with the belts already attached.

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For the girls:

Short sleeve polo: Customized for a girl, I love the cap sleeves and rounded collar for a girly look. The fabric seems to hold up well.   Currently on sale for $14.99.

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Ribbon Belt Twill Pants: These are so cute! Love the girly belt which matches the inside lining of the polo.  Nice fabric on these as well.  Currently on sale for $14.99.

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I also favorited these items:

Twirl skirt

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Ribbon Belt Twill Pants

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Uniform Skort:

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The line is really cute, made well and versatile!

My 4-year old modeling the pants and polo.

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AIRIA Running Shoes Review

Airia ONE

 

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I was sent a pair of the Airia One sneakers ($190) to review.  The Airia One sneakers were designed to be a minimalist shoe with the sole designed by Vibram who creates the barefoot running shoes.  The shoes are very light, with breathable mesh and have a unique design with an irregular and sharply angled sole and upward-pointing toe.   Research was conducted to develop the angles and with the goal of maximizing responsiveness for runners.

“Airia One has an asymmetric design which combines a zero drop with a 6 mm drop sole. This allows you to run with less ground contact time and helps to keep the power in the stride more in line with the running direction.”

The shoes are only for running – not meant for walking. If you go to the website, the shoes boast that they”can help you run faster” and offer a 30-day money back guarantee.

My experience

These were hard to adjust to! When I took my first steps, they felt very awkward with the odd angled soles. I did not feel like I was running barefoot because of the soles, but I felt like I was forced to land on my mid-foot. After a few miles, I seemed to settle into a natural stride and feel more natural.  After my first run of 3 miles, I was sore in all different places.  I pronate, and I felt like I was pronating even more as a result of the shoes.  I missed my standard sneakers and was afraid to run in these for more than a 4-miler.

I feel like these would be a great shoe for a neutral runner that wants to improve speed.  If you enjoy the bare minimum or want to try out a middle ground between barefoot running and running with sneakers, give these a shot!

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Happy National Child Health Day!

New US research proves fit bodies lead to fit minds in children. Keep kids active and get them moving.
Today is National Child Health Day and October is also National Child Health Month!

Kansas City Royal’s Nutritionist, MITZI DULAN, developed an exciting family physical activity program called 60 Minutes of Motion that’s available nationwide as a free download starting today! (click!)  60 Minutes of Motion is a deck of 25 cards that kids can mix and match to get active! Families and kids can follow the directions to stay active for 60 minutes or choose a few based on how much time they have available. The goal is for kids to be active for 60 minutes each day.

In the 2013 National Child Health Day proclamation, President Obama said,

Whether by providing a balanced meal, encouraging physical activity, or empowering our children to make healthy decisions, each of us can teach our kids about nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyles.”

In honor of National Child Health Day, I was sent a fun CLIF KID package encouraging active kids with 60 Minutes of Motion, 2 dies, a Camelbak waterbottle and clif z protein bars.

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The deck of cards contains:

  • 10 Motion Cards: one minute bursts of motion with a movement such as star jumps, crab walks & toe touches
  • 5 Activity Cards: 10 minutes long activities to do solo or with a partner/family/friends
  • 5 Adventure Cards:
  • 2 Game Cards:
  • 1 Snack and 1 Hydration Card: tips on how to nourish yourself before, during and after outdoor play.

What did the kids think? We played outside and did the deck for a few rounds.

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Their favorite ones were star jumps, frog jumps, crab walk and mountain climbers.  Let me first say that it’s up to me at these ages (5,4,2) to get my kids outside and moving to encourage fitness, make healthy food choices based on what I stock in the house, and to lead a healthy lifestyle as a role model. This is a big role for parents, especially if you are the one at home with your kiddos!

My kids loved doing these activities and thought they were fun! We make it a point to be outside everyday.  Of course there are exceptions, but I grew up being active and honestly can’t sit still for very long. I find that active time to be so important! The kids enjoy running, riding bikes, taking walks, making up games in the driveway and yard and playing sports.  I love that CLIF encourages a healthy lifestyle and the 60 Minutes of Motion is a great resource for parents!

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Meal planning & real food (giveaway)

Here we are almost into October! We had a week off of school and packing lunches and morning crazies, but we’re into the swing and routine of packing lunches everyday! Thankful for a carpool 2 days a week with different pickup times for the kids, it is slowly feeling manageable! I’ve looked to Wegmans recipes for inspiration for dinners & 100 days of real food for inspiration for lunches and dinners! And voila! Everything comes together. The recipes at 100 days of real food are easy and REAL!

This was my day before the race fuel for the half last weekend. Not the best choice. But still real and delicious :)

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I’d like to share a few recipes with you for easy dinners & what lunches have been working out for us as well. And as always, I’d love your feedback as to what works for you with lunches and dinners!

Here’s our meal plan for this week:

Monday: Tuscan Beans & Spinach with Soba Noodles (wegmans recipe!) photo credit: wegmans

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Tuesday: Tacos with Turkey Meat from the farmers market

Wednesday: Maple Tofu recipe and sweet potatoes, Picture from lunchboxbunch.com

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Thursday: Quiche and broccoli cheddar soup

Friday: pizza at school dinner event

Saturday: wing it! leftovers, quesadillas, etc

Sunday: Meatball sandwiches - these are so good!!  picture credit: wegmans

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For lunches, I have been alternating peanut butter and sunflower seed butter sandwiches, cheese and crackers, & cream cheese/jelly roll ups. Sometimes we have turkey & cheese roll ups but not often.  For snacks, I make granola bars (I use honey in place of the brown sugar and add in chia seeds and sunflower seeds and do half sun nut butter half butter and omit the choc chips), have fresh fruit (apples and grapes right now), and sometimes almonds, carrots, or yogurt.  It is working out well! We are getting by without the Pirate Booty, Annie’s Bunnies, and our favorite other processed foods. The only one I continue to buy and throw in my bag for emergencies or a treat are Clif Z bars! I just picked up a box of the Halloween Special flavor Monster Chocolate Mint at our local Wegmans.  I used to buy clif z bars before kids – in fact I ate a few of them when I was in labor! I love these bars. And now the kids do as well!

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Their new protein z bars – especially the peanut butter – are a favorite as well!
Want to win some?  Enter the rafflecopter giveaway to win a stash of Clif’s Protein Z bars.
Enjoy! And happy Fall!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Happy Runner

On Sunday, I had an entry to the Philadelphia Half Marathon (rock n’ roll) – I got this entry through my writing because I wanted to see Kara Goucher, who was running along with Deena Kastor! I didn’t know if I was going to run at all, or if I was up for running the whole thing. I planned to do 7 miles of it. I did 10 miles on the treadmill 3 weeks ago as my training :)
It was a hot and humid morning in Philly on Sunday! I started out in the front corrals and busted out some fast miles that I knew would burn me later. When I realized how far out mile 7 was on Kelly Drive I decided to just keep going. You can tell that I was really debating what to do – I started walking for a little at mile 8/9 trying to figure out if I should really finish the race :)

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Kara sighting – far left at the start :)  Deena has the hat on on the middle/right side.Screenshot 2014-09-21 17.51.42

These are the best pictures I’ve ever had. I guess I was a pretty happy runner!

Oh and miles 9 to the finish my buddy was a guy with a boom box playing his music and singing to michael jackson and other great selections. Fun morning! Great company!

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I’m cracking up at the first few.

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lil sister gets married

This mama is tired!  My lil sis got married last weekend…

you may remember she got engaged about one year ago right after a long run :)

It’s been busy around here, we spent the week at the shore celebrating the new MR & MRS.

Some of my favorite pics:

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It was an honor to be the *maid* of honor and stand next to my sister for everything.
The colors were amazing and the day was perfect.
Such an emotional, fun time! Growing up happens so fast!

And then this happened ~ the youngest. Almost 2.5.

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So we’ve been pretty busy around here, but stay tuned for more from Lil Runner!

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Meal planning 101

Congrats, Laura for winning the lunch cut outs! Look out for another giveaway coming up soon with lunch!  
Thanks to all who entered! And as always, thanks for reading!

MEAL PLANS!

I have dabbled in having my meals planned out for the week and my shopping list made based on my plan.  Over the summer, I also started using mint.com for budgeting and set a grocery budget, and I use Grocery IQ for my grocery lists. Having a plan for each night of the week is so much easier than getting to that night and throwing something together on the fly. It also saves money and utilizes the food that we have, so I try to do it most weeks!

I start by looking in the pantry, fridge and freezer to see what we need and have, and build my meal plan and list from there. 

I downloaded some free meal plans from 100 days of real food that are awesome – check these out!  There are also links to recipes included in the meal plans, and a shopping list!  The author also just put out a cookbook!  I also go to my pinterest dinner page and see if I feel like making anything from there. Favorites over the summer included:

Zucchini Pasta {all photos are credited to the websites that are linked to the photos}

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Giada’s baked turkey meatballs

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On pinterest, I found meal planning sheets for the week, printed and laminated them and each week I use a dry erase marker to write out the meal plan for the week, then erase it and redo it for the next week.

Mine looks like this ~ and is clipped to my fridge with a magnet.

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Here are a bunch you can download!

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If you go to pinterest and type in “meal planning sheet” you will find a ton!

As I’m writing up my plan, I’m typing in all the ingredients that I need for the week into my Grocery IQ list!

EASY GROCERY LIST

Grocery IQ is a *free* awesome app where you can have a shared grocery list, and update via your computer or the app itself.  When you are in the grocery store, you easily bring it up and click on the item and it moves to the checked off part of your list.  You can also have multiple lists – Target, Costco, a packing list for a trip, etc. Love this app. Definitely check it out!

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BUDGETING

As far as budgeting, I started using mint.com to track all of my spending and I love it! It is free and you can make up your own categories for budgeting and link all of your bank accounts and credit card accounts. It’s a great resource for saving money!

I set a grocery budget of $450 which is a lofty goal! For the first month, I went over ~ 

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I’m trying to track my spending and then come up with a realistic goal. Some months we have spent over $700 on groceries, and other months have been able to stay under $500. It’s fun to have a goal :) 

COUPONS

And last but not least, coupon-ing!  I use Martha Stewart’s system (now on clearance at Staples!) to organize my coupons and gift cards. 

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Sites that I check for coupons are smartsource, coupons.com and mambosprouts.com.  I also look at Target.com/coupons and on Whole Foods website for coupons or grab their coupon book before shopping!

How about you? Do you meal plan?  Do you cut coupons? Do you have a grocery budget each month? 

 

 

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