Holiday Challenge

The holidays can be pretty stressful. Currently we are in the last leg of bunking up with my in-laws while we wait for our house to be ready, add in the stress of home buying, the holidays, not being able to maintain your normal routine (not even close) and you have a recipe for disaster, or holiday weight gain.

I love my in-laws, don’t get me wrong, but it is hard when you are in someone else’s house, you know? I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes or not do my part around the house, and I don’t want anyone to feel like they have to spend a certain amount of time with B.

So what am I doing to make sure I don’t fall into the holiday weight gain arena? I am keeping myself accountable with two challenges.

The first, Becki’s Healthy Holidays Challenge. The challenge is a competition for weight loss, inches lost, or muscle gain, it is up to the individual on which sections you want to be included in. There is a great facebook group where we encourage one another. You can follow the #healthyholidays on twitter and instagram.

The second is Lindsay and Elle’s Elf 4 Health!

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Every day there are challenges to keep you motivated to make healthy decisions, there is also a great facebook group to encourage one another. The best part is that every two weeks we get paired up with another elf to correspond with, basically we can do that as much or as little as we want. I got paired up with Leila, and it’s been great, we have a lot in common and it is always nice making new blog friends. You can join for the next round if you still want to be a part of the experience. Follow all the elves by using #elf4health on twitter and instagram.

I am hoping to maintain my weight this holiday weight, I would still like to be losing, but with all the craziness, I am really just hoping to maintain.

How do you stay motivated during the holiday season?

Gifts under $100 for a New Runner

I won’t claim to be an expert runner, or an expert to what works for everyone, because we are all different, but I thought I would put together a little list of items for a new runner.

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I think its great to be supportive of the runner in your life, but running can be an expensive sport. Every item on this list is under $100. I will forewarn you now, I am not including any types of shoes, because the right shoe is so personal. I would give the runner a gift certificate to a local running store, one where they check gait and stride, not just a local store that sells sneakers. My favorite running store is Marathon Sports.

So here are a few of my favorites!

Lululemon Cool Racerback – $42

Lululemon

I actually prefer the extra long length, although they no longer exist on the website… I hope that doesn’t mean they are getting rid of them. This is my favorite tank, hands down. It comes in a bunch of different colors and also is a flattering fit and cut. It is lightweight so you can use it as a base layer and not once have I had chafing issues.

Reebok Skinny Capri – $39.99

Reebok

I have these pants in black, black/pink and the gravel/teal. These are my favorite capris, especially for long distance runs. They fit on my hips and don’t ride up or down while I am running. They are also comfortable for every day wear. I love to wear dark bottoms, but love the pops of color. Although, unfortunately it looks like they aren’t making more of these. Check out the Play Dry Skinny Capri ($35), I have these also, and I do love them, I just prefer the above pair.

Pro Compression Marathon Sock – $50

Procompression

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, compression is KEY when recovering from running. Just because the name of the sock is marathon sock doesn’t mean they are only for marathoners. I have worn them after a tough 5 mile run, after a half-marathon and to bed before a race. The swelling and soreness is seriously reduced if not gone because of this. Just know that sizes aren’t based on shoe size, but the customer service is top notch and can help you out.

The Stick – Travel Size $27.50

Another key part to recovery is stretching and making sure your muscles are nice and loose. Again, this is personal preference, some prefer a foam roller others prefer The Stick. I have the travel size because I used to drive to my running group, I travel for a fair amount of race and I run at my in-laws. It’s easier for me to throw the travel size stick in a bag.

Sparkly Soul Headbands – $15 or $17

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I don’t think its any secret that I love these headbands. The colors are bright and the glitter doesn’t fall off, you know what I am talking about. They also work for thick hair, a blessing and a curse, no headbands would ever stay, except these! I love them so much that I sometimes accessorize non-running outfits with them. I prefer the thicker width, but that’s my personal preference.

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Kona Kase – $15 a month

You can read my review here, but this is a great way for new runners to test out new types of fuel and find what really works for them.

Yurbuds – Inspire $29.99

I have reviewed these also, but I have used them every single day since I got them. I have small ears and these never fall out and they don’t give me a headache. Bonus, you can hear noise around you.

ShowerPill Athletic Wipe – $16.50

Once more, I have reviewed this product, but it is great for those who are on the go, the hardest part of being busy is fitting in time for a workout and shower, with this you can delay your shower without offending those all around you.

What would you recommend for a new runner?

Disclaimer: No one has compensated me for this post all product reviews are my own.

Black Friday Deals

I hope all my American friends had a great Thanksgiving and all my other friends had a great Thursday!

I am sharing with you a few of my favorite companies that are having Black Friday deals!

SHOWERPILL

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You can read all about the product here, but here’s the nitty gritty. Go to Amazon, when you buy TWO (2) boxes , you get ONE (1) free! Put THREE (3) boxes in your cart and enter code: SPFRIDAY to receive the third box free. This Offer valid from 11/23/12 – 11/25/12, boxes are $9.99 each.

SPARKLYSOUL HEADBANDS

If you follow me on instagram, you’d see at least one photo of me in a sparklysoul headband once a week.

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The white (thick size) is one of my favorites!

You can get 20% off your ENTIRE order with the code BLACKFRIDAY, this deal is effective until 11:59 pm EST on Friday, November 23, 2012. The thin headbands are $15 and the thick headbands are $17.

NUUN

I can’t drink a lot of the sports recovery drinks out there because they are frankly just too sweet for me. I tried Nuun at the recommendation of another fellow runner. These are my go-to beverages for hydrating. You just put the tablet in your water, the suggestion is for 12 oz, I put mine in 24 oz.

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Their booth from the NWM Expotique.

A box of 4 tubes is usually $24.00, even more if you buy the tubes individually at your local sporting goods store. The box of four is $19.99 and the website is all set up, no promo code to enter.

This deal ends Tuesday, November 27, 2012 and is only valid for Nuun Hydration and Nuun All day.

PRO COMPRESSION

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wearing hot pink marathon socks post NWM

I am a huge proponent of compression socks, I wore these on the plane to the Nike Women’s marathon, I wore them to bed every night and on the plane home, and my leg soreness was typical of a long run. I have heard horror stories about runners flying post-race and having serious swelling and pain in the legs.

Also, the customer service is beyond great at Pro Compression, they will answer any questions, make sure you have the right size, etc…

The Black Friday deal is on the Marathon Calf Sleeve, it is usually $45 and is now $30. Compression can be expensive but is worth it, grab your pair now.

WHOLE FOODS

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Of course I had to include my favorite grocery store.

My friends at River Street sent me the ONE DAY SALE flyer. There are a lot of BOGO deals for you.

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You can get a ton of your Christmas or Holiday goodies on sale, Gingerbread House Kits, Candy Canes, Cider, Trees, Wreaths, etc…

So now you tell me, what companies that you love are having Black Friday deals?

Rooftop 120 with Cait Plus Ate: Part Two

Alternative Title: Cait Plus Kelly

Now that you’ve read about visit number one and hopefully you’ve had a great meal, or are about to eat one, because these photos are going to make you hungry.

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Cheers to blends! Source

We started off with a round of drinks, obviously. I decided to try the Organic Blood Orange

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Skyy Infusions Blood Orange Vodka, Organic Thatchers Blood Orange liqueur, a splash or orange juice and topped with Prosecco

It was the perfect Martini for me. I love blood orange everything and prosecco everything, win win.

For dinner we decided to share a few dishes again, we like the same food and Caitlin is trying to work her way through the menu, so win win again.

We stuck to the regular menu this time instead of the specials.

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Ahi Tuna with braised baby bok choy, green tomato jam, ginger vinaigrette and tobiko

This dish was absolutely amazing, Cait and I were dipping everything in the leftover ginger vinaigrette. The tomato jam had the right amount of acidity and the bok choy was perfectly cooked. The tuna was served rare, just how I like it. The whole dish was composed so well and everything was cooked perfectly.

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Cait’s choice was the Local Scallops with grilled leek risotto and fava beans

I’ll be honest, I never really liked scallops, but I want to like scallops. I think I have never had them cooked well and probably more times than I’d like to admit they were not cleaned properly before being cooked.

I loved this dish, the scallops were cleaned and seared correctly, and I am a sucker for a good risotto and lava beans. The dish was a comforting dish that I would order again and again. Thanks for helping me get over my scallops aversion, Cait and Rooftop 120.

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Our last dish was the Autumn Glazed Vegetables, it included Parsnips, Turnips and Carrots. I was nervous that glaze would be to sweet, but it was balanced well and the vegetables were cooked to the right temperature, not too crispy and definitely not mushy.

We were feeling stuffed after this meal so instead of ordering another drink or menu item to share a small dessert.

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In the glass was Stoli Salted Caramel Vodka and Godiva Dark Chocolate liqueur with chocolate sauce. This was the perfect send off to our meal. It was too sweet where I know I could not have a whole glass but the half-shot was just right.

And at the end of the night was my favorite part.
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At the top of our bill Cait Plus Kelly, Andres really knows how to make a patron feel special.

Thanks again for another wonderful night of food, drinks and fun Cait!

Rooftop 120 With Cait Plus Ate: Part One

Alternative Title: We can never eat or drink anywhere else.

I have had the honor of dining with the fabulous Caitlin at Rooftop 120 not just once, but twice, during my interim living in Connecticut.

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Me and my lovely blend, love this girl. Source

The first time, Nick and I drove straight to the bar from a friends baby shower. We got to meet Caitlin’s parents, they were leaving as we were arriving, and they were super sweet, I’m glad I got to meet them, Caitlin always talks so highly of them and I can tell why!

I started with one of the fall drink specials IMG 4200

The Smashed Pumpkin: Fulton Harvest Pumpkin Pie liqueur, Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and garnished with cinnamon. You can also have whipped cream with it, I decided to not have it. The drink was strong, and was delicious, but after awhile it was too strong for me. I am not always able to drink a lot of rum. Don’t worry Caitlin helped me finish.

Nick got a classic Manhattan on the rocks, and loved it.

For dinner Caitlin and I split two of the entree specials

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Surf & Turf with jumbo shrimp

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Seasoned Cod Special with chickpea puree and sautéed spinach source

Nick ordered the Kobe burger, and in all fairness we were starving when we got there, he was almost finished his burger by the time Cait and I had finished photographing and instagramming our beauties. Blogger problems.

I have to say splitting our food was the best idea ever, we both were able to try some amazing dishes.

We were all still a bit hungry after our dinner, so Nick ordered cheesecake and Cait and I ordered another round of drinks and a savory dish to share.

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Blood Orange Sparkler with Prosecco. I had seen it on Andres instragram feed and knew I had to have it.

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Baked Lamb Meatballs with Onion Jam and Yogurt Sauce source

Since Cait loves Greek food and well I do too, Nick’s Greek, how could I not? We had to go for the Greek style dish on the menu.

These were melt in your mouth perfect. Every flavor melded perfectly together, the warmth of the meatballs and sweet and tangy flavors of the onion jam and yogurt sauce, perfect taste on a piece of crusty bread. Best decision ever.

And since Nick’s cheesecake was huge we were able to taste that too. What a perfect night of food, and the company was even better!

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Nick, Me and Caitlin source

We all know how this night ended, but man was it worth it.

So Fresh and So Clean Clean

First, the winners of the TuneTime Music Hour giveaway, Danielle, Lisa, Liz, Donna and DisneyBride. Please shoot me an email cupcakekelly21@gmail.com and I will send you your promo code.

A little OutKast for your Monday

I hope I am not the only person who thinks of that song whenever someone says “so fresh and so clean”.

As most of you probably know, I do a lot of my workouts at home while B naps and some days I would not have time to workout, eat lunch and shower. I would do my best and change my clothes, put on deodorant and perfume – sometimes even use a baby wipe, so I didn’t stink all day, but we all know that doesn’t hide the stink completely.

Right now I am in between houses I have a temporary gym, I squeeze in workouts before the after-work crowd gets there while my mother-in-law watches B. By the time I get home it’s usually time for dinner and then all the sudden it’s 7 or 8 pm and I have NO desire to take a shower.

Enter ShowerPill, ShowerPill is a hygiene supplement that is designed to keep you fresh and clean when you can’t actually shower! It is a large antibacterial body wipe that is individually packaged so that you can still get a great workout in and go about your day feeling fresh.

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The actual wipe is 9″ × 8″ and is thick, it actually reminded me of a ShamWow in terms of size and thickness.

One night I went to the gym late, worked out hard, weights, tempo run, nice and sweaty by the end. I knew I had to get up VERY early the next morning and would be gone all day. So I had to make a game time decision. Shower that night or shower the next morning. Showers make me feel awake and refreshed, especially when I have a lot of driving to do. I decided to use the ShowerPill that night and see what it could do.

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Post-gym, Pre-ShowerPill

The wipe worked great, no sticky residue feeling after I used it and it didn’t dry out my skin either, and lastly the scent wasn’t overpowering, it was light and clean, three very important factors! And since I am in the running for Wife of the Year, I told Nick to smell my armpit post workout and ShowerPill. Good news, it didn’t stink!

This is a product I can get behind, as a mom who values her workouts and her time! Not convinced? Check out reviews from my fellow FitFluential Ambassadors. Pavement Runner takes a RUNch (running lunch) on a regular basis, Jamie used hers during an overnight relay, Janine suggested using them during mud runs, color runs and mid day workouts, and Danielle was recently in a car accident and showering is difficult for her so ShowerPill has been extremely helpful.

Now for some great news ShowerPill is pretty amazing and they are giving all of you a Black Friday deal on Amazon. When you buy TWO (2) boxes , you get ONE (1) free!

Offer valid from 11/23/12 – 11/25/12, Put THREE (3) boxes in your cart and enter code: SPFRIDAY to receive the third box free.

These would also make a great stocking stuffer or yankee swap gift for your fitness friends and family!

Disclaimer: I received ShowerPill in exchange for my review as a FitFluential Ambassador, as always all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Playlist Thursday: Cool Down Songs

I am linking up with Pavement Runner today. I LOVE his music posts, mostly because I am always looking for new running songs to add to my playlist, but because of the format of his posts. I know I have been MIA on Playlist Thursday for awhile but I am back now!

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Today’s theme is: Cool Down songs. I am choosing to pick songs that I listen to as I am finishing my workout, not the last 5 minutes of a run or a race, I like to call those – power songs.

SOMETHING OLD

Artist: Dave Matthews Band
Title: The Best of What’s Around
Side Note: I listen to A LOT of DMB when I am cooling down because it is very soothing and relaxing. This song is one of my favorites. Of course this song has a great performance from the late great Leroi.
Quotable: Seeing things from a. Clearer side than most can dream. On a better road I feel. So you could say she’s safe. Whatever tears at her. Whatever holds her down. And if nothing can be done. She’ll make the best of what’s around.

SOMETHING CURRENT

Artist: Mumford & Sons
Title: I Will Wait
Side Note: This song makes me a tad emotional, I usually listen to it on the way home from the gym, I usually feel completely relaxed after.
Quotable: Raise my hands. Paint my spirit gold. And bow my head. Keep my heart slow

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER

Artist: Jason Aldean
Title: Days Like These
Side Note: I love this song, such a remind to live IN the moment,
Quotable: I got a new shine on my car. Sun is tannin’ my left arm. And while I’m waitin’ on the red light. I’m burnin’ up a little air guitar

11 Question Survey

Don’t forget to enter the TuneTime giveaway!

I try not to do these types of surveys too often. Not like when I had AOL and we sent out these surveys daily, to the boys we crushed on no less, and we were no doubt exceedingly driving said boys farther and farther away.

I like doing these every once in a while so new readers can get to know me better. I was tagged by Erin, so make sure you show her some love too!

1. What is one goal you feel like you have to achieve in life in order to have lived the life you always imagined?

Raise my child(ren) to be kind, caring, generous, happy and healthy adults.

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2. What is one of your worst habits?

I care to much about how my friends treat me, and read too much into their actions.

3. What do you think is your best trait?

My honesty, I will tell you the whole truth and I won’t lie to you.

4. If you had to live on one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

Sushi. During pregnancy – Burritos.

5. What is your favorite season?

The summer. Lots to do, lots of activates for kiddos and lots of time with family! But I LOVE running outside in the summer.

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6. What song is the theme song for your life?

Oof, this is a hard song, I feel like I have a different song every week. Can I pick an artist, okay thanks, John Mayer it is.

7. If for some reason you had to flee the country where would you move?

Greece – maybe? Nick has family there. Perhaps not now though. In that case definitely the Caribbean.

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8. What is the sweetest thing someone has ever done for you?

There are a lot of private moments that have been sweet in my relationship. I think the ones that are important are when friends and family think of you in moments outside important events (i.e. birthdays, holidays, etc…). A card just to say hi, I am thinking of you. Flowers just because…

9. What is one thing you wish you could change in the world?

Poverty.

10. What year so far has been the best year of your life?

2011. This little guy was born, best day of my life.

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11. If you could take a time machine and visit with one famous person who is no longer alive who would it be?

John Lennon? JFK and Bobby? I don’t know, maybe I would attend the first meeting of the Continental Congress. Too many wonderful ideas.

Who would you meet?

TuneTime Music Hour – Review and Giveaway.



As I may or may not have mentioned before, my husband Nick happens to be a software developer by profession and more specifically, an iOS developer by night. He’s had a few apps in the app store for a few years now and he’s asked me to share some news about a recent fitness-related update to one of his apps. In his own words:

I even used this last night, if you follow me on instagram, you would’ve seen me post a preview of the app!

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I personally use the app for tempo runs and HIIT workouts. Plus you can share your completed workouts on your social media networks to keep yourself accountable.

Hi Cupcake Kellys Readers,

I’ve been very hard at work on a new version of my musical timer app TuneTime Music Hour for iOS. The app started life as a generic musical timer, but as time goes on, I am hearing of more and more folks using it for fitness related activities. To that effect, I’ve added two exciting new features that I think you guys will really enjoy in addition to the rest of what the app already has.

The latest version adds background audio, a feature I haven’t seen in many timer apps. You can start a timed activity and music continues even if you switch apps or put your device to sleep. Additionally, you can now set custom interval lengths so your timed activities don’t have to be restricted to 60-second intervals.

I’m really hoping to get some feedback from users in the fitness community so that I can continue to add features taylored to fitness activities and make the app even better for people like yourselves. If you decide to check it out, please don’t hesitate to send me honest feedback around things you like and things you’d like to see.

~Nick

You can check out the premium version of the app here:

TuneTime Music Hour Premium

There’s a free version of the app as well, but it doesn’t have two highlighted features and also contains ads (the purpose is to be more of a “try before you buy”, though it is still quite functional). Find it at:

TuneTime Music Hour

As a bonus, Nick has given me some promo codes for the premium version of the app to give out to five people that tweet about the app. Just click on this Tweet button to make it happen and we’ll get you your code!

There are several ways to enter (leave a comment for each or additional entries won’t count!):

1. Click the above link to tweet and leave a comment with the URL. (Mandatory)

2. Follow @CupcakeKellys on twitter

3. Leave a comment telling me what you are going to use the app for

You have until Sunday, November 18 at 11:59 pm EST to enter. Winners will be announce Monday, November 19.

Unfortunately this app only works on iPhones, not on Android.


Kona Kase Review

I recently got the opportunity to try Kona Kase.

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Kona Kase is a monthly subscription service, similar to your Birchbox or Bulu Boxes, that delivers endurance nutrition samples to you!

This is a great service and not just if you are new to endurance sports. Lets face it, we have all forked over hard earned money for a type of fuel or recovery and hated it or the product wreaked havoc on our body. At least I hope I am not the only one. Kona Kase lets you try different products to see if they work with your body and if you like them.

Kona Kase is $15 per month and ship one the 15th of every month, and soon you will be able to go to the website and purchase the items you like. Shipping is free as well and you can cancel your membership any time WITHOUT penalty.

Each kase is a surprise, however you can see past kases to get an idea of products.

I tried the October Kase, lets break it down by product.

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Clif Builder’s Protein Bar – Chocolate Mint Flavor

Larabar – Blueberry Muffin Flavor

Powerbar Performance Energy – Banana Flavor

I’ll be honest, the only bar I liked was the Clif bar. I know from previous experience that the blueberry Larabar is not for me. I tried the Powerbar but I didn’t really love the flavor.

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2nd Surge Gel – Chocolate tasted good very similar to a Gu.

3 FRS Drink Sticks – Orange similar to EBoost, not a flavor I would use frequently, but not too sweet.

Vega Drink Stick – Chocolate the one item I have yet to try, I will update this as soon as I do!

Sharkies – Berry I loved these, similar to any shot blok in consistency, although berry is not my favorite flavor, these weren’t bad.

Gatorade Prime – Berry This was VERY sweet and sat in my stomach a bit weird. I was always interested in trying this but I am glad this is how I was able too, since I don’t think I would go out and buy these on my own.

I would definitely buy the Clif bars, Sharkies and 2nd surge again on my own.

So would I try Kona Kase again? Yes! I loved the idea behind the product and ironically would use more of the items in this than in my birchboxes. How would I improve it?

It would be awesome if you could customize even more, perhaps make a “no list” in terms of flavors that you don’t like? Or even more specifics, like I know that I don’t like the blueberry larabar. Other than that I loved the box.

What items would you love to see in a Kona Kase? What is your favorite endurance sports item?

Disclaimer: I was provided one months box free of charge, as always opinions are my own.