My Take On Jogging Stroller

As a first-time, somewhat more “musty” military mom, I have to learn most of the latest and greatest baby tricks of the trade by trial and error. Since most of my peers at work are men, and most of my girlfriends the mothers of college kids, figuring out where to earn deals has been tough. Just by luck, my husband embraces shopping for expensive baby gear with all the relish of picking out a 60 inch flat screen TV. Really, I’m not kidding. So he, my research analyst, picked out a couple stroller systems with the car seat, car unsuitable, and stroller from his internet queries and rolled out to our local Babies ‘R Us to do a test drive. His screening criteria: light, snazzy looking, bigger wheels, and non girly. My criteria: doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Jogging Strollers – Do You Really Need it?

The standard Graco Snugride systems were nice enough, and seemed pretty reasonably priced. We looked at the Baby Trend Expedition system as well, but discovered from one of the store associates that a lot of parents had registered for them and later returned them because they were too cumbersome. And then he tested the MetroLite system, drawn to the smaller, lighter, faster claims- I think it sounded like a featherweight boxer to him.

He liked it and asked me to go check it out for myself. Yes, all those things were gargantuan, and the Utopia color scheme was that substantial brown and blue that works for both boys and girls. The effect tag was surprisingly small, so it came home with me. It’s been in spend for the last five months and I’m still elegant blissful with it. We’ve taken it on a plane (I own most airlines as of now will check both stroller and carrier at the gate with no extra charges- take both when you are flying with infants!), we’ve taken walks, and it goes in and out of the hatchback of my Honda Element with ease.

The one caveat I will make is that if you enjoy taking your little darling on walks on anything other than the smoothest concrete, you can only go so fast before the wheels begin to shake. You won’t hasten into this on most casual walks, but if you are really trying to motor, you may want to invest in a jogging stroller (see that review from me). My appreciation of this travel system lead me to look at the smaller lighter Graco Travel Lite crib/playpen which I also found to be both great value and well made.

Runabout Triple Stroller Review

jogging stroller

The Runabout Triple Stroller is the most space efficient, sturdy, safe, and adaptable multiple baby stroller on the market today (though this review is about their approved triple stroller, Runabouts are available with 2,3,4,5, and 6 seating adaptations as well). Along with this, it’s also the best jogging stroller of 2020. Its current sinful notice of about $785– with the airless tires, basket, and water bottle included it runs about $925 right now– may seem high until one considers that these triple strollers regularly resell on Ebay for 450-600 dollars (we resold ours two and a half years later for $585). Why so much? Because they’re worth it. Read More

Kettlebell Workout!

This workout was no joke! I have added personal training to my usual boxing workout to help target specific areas, and to focus on strength training. The kettlebells were used during arm day. A kettlebell is a solid weight that is made of cast-iron and is shaped, well, like a bell. Different exercises were done between two bell weights to target different arm muscles and to work my core.

The more sets I did, the heavier the bell felt! George (my wonderful trainer) would not let me slow down or stop. I was able to raise my heart rate, break a sweat, and do presses, curls, and lifts all with one weight. Besides learning a new workout that day, I learned that this exercise originated from one that the Russian KGB did. I also learned that those soldiers only had one weight option, 75lbs!

I am often asked why I workout, because some do not think that I need to lose weight. Working out does not always have to be associated with weight loss. Weight loss can be obtained without a single workout, in some cases.

I workout, simply, for myself.

There are many things in this world that I have a passion for and I have just scratched to surface of them. If I am not in good health and condition, then I will not be able to enjoy, seek out, share, or experience any of those passions.

I learn many of life’s lessons from observing others, rather than experiencing them myself. Making my health a top priority was one of those life lessons. “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything,” is something that my Grandad would tell me often, because he had to learn the lesson the hard way. I really took that sentence to heart, and decided at that moment that I would maintain good health and not let it hold me back from anything.

Going to Title Boxing and personal training is a natural part of my weekly routine. I do not look at a workout as a chore, but more as a normal task of a day. Each boxing class and personal session is an hour long. A one hour workout is only 4% of an entire day! I can dedicate that small amount of time to maintaining my health with no problem.

It is important to find a workout that you actually enjoy doing. For example, running may not be a good choice if there are knee issues, because of the high impact. Good thing running is not the only way to achieve a great cardio workout! Write down your likes and needs, and then do some research. Finding an enjoyable workout that is best for what you would like to achieve will help keep the motivation high!

The Magic in Changing Your Lenses

Today something superbly magical happened and I glowed from witnessing it.

Now, I know that some think I’m crazy. Others call me naive. I prefer extraordinary and blessed. So here, step into my perspective (because that is what this is all about), and find the magic and gift with me.

I was driving home, music playing, smiling and simply feeling filled with and surrounded by, love. I had been messaging some of my beautiful clients support and love shortly before and being in that energy space just overwhelms me with an indescribable, fulfilling warmth.

The sky was blue with patches of glowing, white clouds.

As I glanced upwards through the windscreen, I noticed a beautiful piece of a rainbow peaking out of the hole in one of the clouds. It was a gift. A site to behold. Thick and short. Strong. Gentle. Almost a rectangle of iridescent beauty and life that was put there to remind me of the sparkly, colorful goodness in my life. That Divine Energy that seems to be escaping so many in what seems to be largely dark and turbulent times.

Of course, I needed to snap this moment. This exquisite message in the sky. So I pulled over and focused my phone to take the shot. With my sunglasses on, I wasn’t quite sure what the picture on my screen looked like – was it doing any justice to this coat of many colors drifting in the sky above me?

I removed my glasses and laughed! Without the tint of the lenses, there was no rainbow. With my naked eye, I only saw sunshine streaming through this cloud.

I marveled.

I marveled at yet another message. Another confirmation of what I believe, hold so dear and coach my clients in.

Shortly before, I’d been in a coffee shop and helped a lovely old lady carry her order to her table. I got her water. Whatever – I did what I love doing – spreading goodness. Making others feel valuable.

When I was leaving, she told me that I have a beautiful smile and that the bracha (blessing) she was giving me was mazal (luck). I smiled so lovingly at her and said that objectively, my life has not been one of luck but that my true mazal is that I have learned to find the gifts, the blessings, the good in everything. Read More

School Lunches: Trusting Kids to Make Healthy Choices

My daughter went off to first grade this fall, and, for the first time ever, I do not have to pack her lunch. Hooray! However, this also means my six-year-old now makes her own lunch choices at school. Not so “hooray.”

I now worry about my sudden lack of control in this area. What if Sofie eats nothing but bread and ice cream every day? Maybe peer pressure will take hold and she’ll decide it’s not cool to eat veggies. Anything could happen.

The good news is that her school has a healthy menu of food selections. Every day there is a sandwich bar, a salad bar, soups and fresh fruit. Dessert is served twice a week, a parent-approved reduction from previous years. The other days, Sofie makes “rainbow yogurt” — vanilla yogurt mixed with fruits of her choice.

The milk is local (Rhody Fresh), and we have reached an agreement where Sofie can choose chocolate milk once a month. I have never allowed it before, but I don’t want chocolate milk to become the forbidden fruit, so much more tempting by being off limits. When she first tried it in September (such a big build-up!), she reported that it tasted “only okay.”

The daily hot meals sound mouth-wateringly delicious (see sample below), and, to my surprise, Sofie tells me she has tried several of them including baked cod, roasted potatoes and pork loin. Huh? If I told her that’s what we were having for dinner, the complaints would be flying left and right.

Perhaps the freedom to make her own choices has made my daughter adventurous. Perhaps we’ve coddled her at home by not offering enough variety. (How many times did I give her macaroni or hot dogs for lunch because it seemed the easy option?) Perhaps she’s positively influenced by the other girls at school. Perhaps I worry too much.

I knew there’d come a time when I’d “lose control” of her diet. (And, God, I hope she doesn’t ever start to diet.) I have to trust in the food values we’ve imparted—both consciously and not—in Sofie’s first six years. She knows about eating the rainbow, about balancing carbs with protein, about getting vitamins through food. She’s pretty good about trying new things. She likes to eat.

That’s important, I think. Food can be such a loaded subject, especially for girls. I want Sofie to enjoy food for the sake of food– without any of its psychological or emotional implications. I want her intuition to guide her toward making healthy food choices… most of the time, at least. Because there will always be days when nothing beats a butter sandwich.

Shandali UltraSport Travel Towel is Great for Camping, Biking & More!

I have told you before, hubby rides his bike – a lot.  His daily commute to work is about seven miles each way, so you can imagine that he works up quite the sweat by time he arrives at work and needs to shower and get ready there (thank goodness they have a locker room!).  The issue he has run into with getting ready at work is, his towel.  He has limited real estate space in his backpack and he never really wants to drag a stinky towel back and forth on a regular basis – and it would be fine, if he did not have to keep throwing the towel back into his locker and were allowed to leave it out to dry.  But, so is life and the towel goes into the locker and gets stinky/smelly, etc.  So when we received the Shandali UltraSport Travel Towel – he was really excited to test it out in this towel-tough environment!

What did we think?

The Shandali UltraSport Travel Towel is a microfiber towel that is light weight, dries quickly (both your body and itself!) and folds up quite compactly!  Andrew loved that the first time he used this towel, he noticed that he was saving time drying off since it absorbed so much water, so quickly.  He was also pleasantly surprised to find that it had dried during the day inside the locker!  Which was huge for him, because that meant the next day, he had a nice dry towel (that didn’t smell!) to dry off with again without having to haul one back and forth!  Hubby really likes that the towel has a handy-dandy loop to hang the towel and ensure that it has maximize exposure so it can dry.  He was able to keep this at work nearly two weeks before it was clear it was time to wash it (I am certain many people have differing levels of what they find acceptable – but for him – two weeks was it!)  The microfiber towel washed beautifully – since it is microfiber, I recommend washing it with “low lint” items and with hot water, such as your sheets.  If you launder it with other linty items, you risk the microfiber picking all of that up and being less absorbent over time.

The Verdict

The Shandali UltraSport Travel Towel is the perfect option for a bike commuter that has to get ready “on the go”.  Hubby is also looking forward to using this microfiber towel for upcoming races this summer.  For myself, I see this as being a great option for camping trips, swim lessons and workouts.  The Shandali UltraSport Travel Towel is available on Amazon in three neutral colors that can benefit the whole family!