$19.95 for 5 bottles (18 servings per bottle, ~22 cents per serving)
Stur is a natural stevia liquid water enhancer with 0 sugar, 0 calories, and 7 essential vitamins. Available in several flavors, Stur helps people naturally drink more water, by adding as little or as much flavor as they want.
The founder created it when his wife was pregnant with twins and he wanted to help her drink more water throughout her pregnancy. The U.S. Institutes of Medicine recommend Americans drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Among other things, water helps maintain the balance of body fluids, can help control calories, helps energize muscles, helps keep skin looking good, and helps your kidneys flush out toxins.
There are 6 flavors - and you can mix them with water, tea, unflavored soda, or even cocktails!
▪ Cucumber Mint
▪ Orange Mango
▪ Lemon Tea
▪ Lightly sweetened with stevia leaf extract
▪ Natural fruit flavors
▪ Zero calories
▪ Sugar free
▪ Gluten free
▪ Caffeine free
▪ 7 essential vitamins - A, D, E, B3, B5, B6, B12
▪ Add to water, soda water and even cocktails!
▪ Portable – great for travel
I used to be terrible about drinking plain water. I'd drink coffee, tea, energy drinks, Crystal Light, diet soda... all sorts of stuff (most of which was full of weird stuff that I really didn't need to drink). I've finally gotten better about drinking plain water, but sometimes it's nice to have water that tastes good! So I was pretty excited to try these water enhancers from Stur.
Basically, I REALLY REALLY like these. I like all of the flavors, and sometimes I mix them together to make new flavors (yeah, super wild and crazy, I know)! Other sugar-free water enhancer type products sometimes have a weird aftertaste, or are overly sweet, but Stur isn't like that. Stur tastes more like infused water than like fake juice. The packaging is really basic (squeeze bottle). Each bottle is enough for eighteen 8 oz drinks, which doesn't seem like very many (I wish the bottles were bigger and the product was more concentrated). I've only seen Stur online (Sturdrinks.com
and on Amazon
), so you'll have to buy a bunch to get free shipping. In spite of the drawbacks, I really like Stur--I think it might be one of my favorite (non-alcoholic) drinks! :)Lipgloss+Spandex rating:
I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Hot Buttered Run. It's a holiday themed race that has 12k, 5k and kids courses, and it's super fun. This was my third year running it, and it was better than ever. Almost about how the race is organized is pretty fantastic, and we've been lucky to have rain-free weather every year! I thought the weather was perfect, although my friend Cari did not appreciate my description of 53 degrees as being "balmy" and "perfect shorts and tank weather."
Anyway. The race itself is reasonably priced, and packet pickup at Fit Right was a breeze. There were a few goodies in the custom printed goodie bag, as well as the bib/timing chip and long sleeved cotton t-shirt. I ordered a small, and unfortunately had the same problem this year that I had two years ago... the sleeves are WAYYYY too short. They barely come halfway down my forearms. :(
This year the race started and ended in Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver. It used to be at Pearson Air Museum, but I think the park is a better venue by far. I carpooled with my BFF downtown, and parking wasn't too bad, we parked just a few blocks away. Once we arrived we hung out for a bit and met up with some other friends, and then waited til the last possible minute to put our jackets and sweaters in bag check. As usual, bag check was super efficient, and the line moved quickly, so it wasn't a problem. The starting line was divided into three corrals (sub 8, 8:01-10, and over 10) which worked out really well. There was hardly any congestion on the course due to the staggered start.
At the starting line:
The course itself was mostly flat and pretty, going through downtown, by Fort Vancouver, along the waterfront. There was one big "hill" going over a bridge about mile 6 that was hard. The course was very clearly marked and there were tons of volunteers along the way, as well as a few aid stations. Prior to the race I didn't think I would PR since I just didn't feel ready. But even though the course was accidentally measured as being longer than 12K, I still managed to maintain a good pace and PR after all!
The AFTER PARTYYYYY!!!
Ummm... and just FYI, I didn't plan on wearing all pink. It just happened. Because a LOT of my clothes are pink. Hat, jacket, pants, shoes... Yep.
Anyways, the after-party was great. There was tons of food (Biscoff cookies, almonds, rice cakes, bananas) and drinks (Gatorade, Muscle Milk, water). Getting into the 21+ area was easy, as there were clearly designated people checking IDs. While the lines for hot buttered rums did get a little long, the people serving drinks were doing a great job of keeping things moving. The hot buttered rums were AMAZING. SO GOOD. The mix is made by hand from scratch, and I could definitely taste the difference. And while we were in the Rum Garden, we got pictures with Gingy (the gingerbread man from Shrek!). It's kind of a tradition :P
We didn't hang out for too much longer after that since it was cold (we didn't stick around for the awards, but the medals were gorgeous!), and in spite of the course being a little too long, everyone really seemed to enjoy the event and was looking forward to doing it again next year. It's definitely one of my favorites!
Have you done any holiday runs?
I love doing a race on Thanksgiving morning--it's a good time to reflect on what I'm thankful for, and counteract some of the gazillion
calories I'll consume later. For those reasons, my friends have made it somewhat of a tradition to do a Thanksgiving morning run. The past few years I did the Clark County Turkey Trot, but after seeing the MASSIVE Turkeython medals, I decided to mix it up this year! And I had a BLAST running Uberthon's 2013 Turkeython
I really like Turkeython for several reasons:
- It benefits Providence Children's Health, Doernbecher Children's Hospital and Portland Rescue Mission--three great local charities.
- It has events for everyone--10k and 5k runs, 2.5k walk/run, kids races, and family and student 10k relays.
- It's a good value --the entry fees remained constant, regardless of how close it was to the race date, and the $35 10k fee included a chip timed race, a good quality medal, and tons of post race goodies, including muffins, coffee, cocoa, apples, oranges, Larabars, and Fuel100 Electro-Bytes.
- Although an event shirt wasn't included in the registration fee, they were CHEAP. The long sleeved, tech t-shirt for the event for only $5 if you pre-ordered with your registration, or for $8 if you purchased it at packet pickup or the day of the race).
- They had three days of packet pickup. (Although none of the JC Penney employees knew that packet pickup was going on, and the Uberthons website wasn't super clear about WHERE exactly it would be within JC Penney, I did eventually find it!)
- There was tons of parking (so no need for bag check).
- Although I had originally been worried that the 2.5k loop course would be boring and overly crowded, it was actually fun! It was seeing volunteers and spectators over and over again, and even with about 1000 participants, the course was fast and fairly flat--I actually got a PR, which I hadn't expected due to the expected number of participants, past experience at Halloweenathon, and the fact that my running has been SLOW lately.
- Race photos are only $5 each... unfortunately I didn't see any really worth buying :(
In addition to your bib that has your number and timing chip on it, everyone received an extra bib that said "I am thankful for ______ " and runners were encouraged to fill it out and put it on their backs. Mine said: "I am thankful for my best friend who is running Turkeython with me... and beer."
Me and my BFF!!!
It's a really great race, and while it was cold, we still had a good time! I'm looking forward to doing this again next year :) From pre-race to race to post-race, it was fairly well done.
Did you get in a workout on Thanksgiving?
I've only been Black Friday shopping a few times, but it was crazy. It was crowded, lines were long, and a lot of stuff was out of stock. It's kind of exciting and fun if you're with friends and you actually manage to score a deal. But I dislike crowds unless necessary (as a result, I do a lot of my shopping at random times like on my lunchbreak). And sometimes the deals aren't such great deals after all, so all that hassle was for nothing: one of the few things I've purchased on Black Friday was a Nikon Coolpix... that stopped working a little over a year later. And I'm pretty opposed
to "Black Friday" starting on Thanksgiving evening. CAN'T YOU WAIT A FEW MORE HOURS?!
Anyway, I definitely love to shop sales, but I'm not really into the CRAZY SALE kind When it comes to holiday shopping, I much prefer Cyber Monday--I can wear my PJs and have a beer while doing my shopping from the comfort of my own home. And the nice thing is that it's not just limited to Monday anymore! My inbox has been flooded with emails about "pre-Black Friday sales" that have already started, and will extend through Cyber Monday.
But there's the immediate gratification of buying it RIGHT THEN AND THERE, and Target has a few tings I'm thinking of buying... ONLINE, of course. haha. No. 1.
My three brothers are obsessed with Skylanders
(I don't even know what they are), and the deal is buy 2 get 1 free
, so that's about perfect. No. 2.
I'd love to get another cute faux leather moto jacket
(my fave outfit of the moment is skinny jeans, riding boots, a moto jacket and a scarf)--and the xhilaration ones are only $20
, which is soooo cheap. Even cheaper than Forever 21! I'm worried they'll run out of my size if I don't go early-ish. :( No. 3.
And then the MOVIES
. I finally got my TV set up (well, my roommate set it up) but now I'm in the mood to have some friends over for a movie/beer night! And movies always make good presents/stocking stuffers. (The Heat, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Pitch Perfect, Batman, and Silver Linings Playbook are fall fantastic).
Lastly, if you spend more than $75 on Black Friday you'll get a coupon for 20% off an entire purchase between Dec 1-7. I try to act like I'm not going to spend more than $75 at Target, but I swear, every time I go there, I buy a MILLION THINGS.
Are you going Black Friday shopping? What stores are you going to? What are you going to buy?
Beauty Box 5 is a monthly subscription service that delivers five beauty or skincare samples to your doorstep for only $12 a month (and the shipping is free)! Ordering recurring boxes gives you an even greater discount.
Let's take a peek at this month's goodies, shall we?!
Aveeno Positively Nourishing Calming Body WashLast month's BB5
also had an Aveeno product. While I think Aveeno makes great products, they're readily available, so getting one in a sample box is kind of a letdown. It has a pleasant sweet, clean smell to it. At least I can use it!Secret Clinical Strength Antiperspirant & Deodorant
While this is fantastic deodorant, like the Aveeno products, Secret is so mainstream that it's kind of underwhelming to get this in a sample box. Also, there was supposed to be a manufacturer's coupon for a FREE deodorant, but I didn't have one in my box (there was a Travalo mini atomizer 25% off coupon?). It's a bit more expensive than your regular deodorant/antiperspirant, but if you need the strong stuff, or work out a lot, it's better to just shell out the extra buck or two. FYI: I've heard it's better to apply antiperspirant at night so it has more time to take effect!Body Drench Lip Drench
I got this in Coconut Lime. I really like it because the fragrance is "real"... it actually smells like coconut and limes! It's moisturizing too. $4.99 is a little much for lip balm though--that's about twice what I'd prefer to pay.Bellapierre Cosmetics Shimmer Powder
I recieved "Ha Ha" which is a royal blue shimmery eye shadow. The color is pretty bold, but it's a fun pop of color on the lower lashline, blended out. While the color isn't the easiest to wear, the texture is smooth and it applies well, without too much fallout for a loose shadow.
Montagne Jeunesse Glacial Cooling Face Mask
This was interesting. And it looked terrifying. Kinda reminiscent of the Scarecrow in Batman... but it felt GREAT. It was the same texture and thickness as the makeup removing wipes that I usually use, but coated in a green-tinged clay mixture. It felt cold and refreshing on my skin. I left it on for the 10-15 minutes recommended on the packaging, and when I peeled it off and washed off the excess, my skin felt great--really smooth and refreshed. I wouldn't use these all the time, but it's a cheap splurge once in awhile and would be really fun at a girls' night in, no matter what age you are! :)
Lots of practical products in the November Beauty Box 5! While the Secret deodorant/antiperspirant and Aveeno body wash were a little disappointing because they're not really novel products, they're still very useful, and the cooling mask and lip balm also fit well into the theme of "Prep. Primp. Sparkle."--being ready for whatever the night may bring! As I've said before, while subscription boxes aren't the best use of money for gals who are particular, they can be FANTASTIC for those travelling, or gals looking to try a lot of products without committing to full-sized products.
Beauty Box 5 is a monthly subscription service that delivers five beauty or skincare samples to your doorstep for only $12 a month (and the shipping is free)! Ordering recurring boxes gives you an even greater discount.
I was really excited when Beauty Box 5 reached out to me to be on their review team!
My thoughts on these products:
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion
While I think it's a good basic product (it's moisturizing without being heavy, the oatmeal scent is faint but pleasant), it's readily available, I've tried it before, and it's not very exciting to see a travel-sized container in my BB5.
Model Co Illusion Lip Pencil
I haven't tried any Model Co products before, so I liked the opportunity to try out a new brand, and I liked that it was a full-sized product. Although the color looks a little cool on me on it's own, it's a good neutral nude base for lipstick. Although the pencil seemed a little dry and tugged at my lips a bit, it's not drying--it feels pretty comfortable on my lips, and I like that the cap has an included sharpener.
Swissco Glitter Toe Separators
These are cute as far as toe separators goes, but I never use these things. Does anyone actually use these??
La Fresh Travel Lite Facial Cleansing Wipes
I really did NOT like these. The fragrance was too strong for me, and the wipes did not do a good job of removing any of my makeup. I needed to use two wipes to get the majority of my makeup off, and then still used a good foaming cleanser afterwards to get rid of any residue. I would not buy these.
Nubar Alter Ego Nail Laquer
While I love glitter polish, I know a lot of adults who wouldn't find this very useful or practical (for work). At least it's during the holiday season. While it looks orange in the bottle but looks like iridescent glitter on my nails (no orange tint).
For only $12, I'm not really disappointed in my October Beauty Box 5, because I did get some use out of most of the products, but there wasn't anything I was in love with. Of the five samples in the October box, the lip pencil was the best, and the cleansing wipes were the worst.
At only $12 a month, it's still a useful subscription service, and this could be a really good gift--and if you get a subscription, it's the gift that keeps on giving! How fun is that?! While the makeup lover who has everything might not need it, it's a great gift for those who love samples--whether it's because they like trying new things without committing to a full-sized products, or because they travel a lot, or for makeup-lovers on a budget.
Because I'm a little crazy, I signed up for two 5k races on the same morning. On purpose. And they were only an hour apart. hahaha. And I talked my crazy awesome friend Pat into doing them both with me! The first was Mustache Dache
The Portland Mustache Dache is part of a national series of Mustache Daches that benefits Movember
, "the international men’s health charity, which aims to forever change the face of men’s health through the power of the moustache, by raising vital awareness and funds for men’s health issues to combat prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges". Ten percent of your race entry goes straight to the organization!
Everything about this race was pretty great... except the course haha. Packet pickup was easy-peasy at Fit Right in Portland the afternoon/evening before the race. The location (Big Al's in Beaverton) is easy to get to and has ample parking. There were lots of booths and heating lamps, as well as bag check, and the roughly 600 5k-ers were sorted into three "corrals" baced on pace.
Not long after we started the race, we began the ascent. I had heard the race would be hilly, but I didn't realize the race would be up and then down (second time in two weeks... you'd think I'd learn...) It was one of the toughest 5k's I think I've ever done. I had to walk portions of the uphill and my calves felt like they were going to explode, and was a little nervous to go too fast on the downhill, because the roads were a little slippery and there were a few sharp corners. It definitely wasn't a PR sort of course, and it made my legs pretty sore the day after. But it was really well marked, and there were tons of fantastic volunteers (including Trevor and Tracy! You guys rock!)
There was TONS OF SWAG after the race. In addition to the cotton t-shirt (unisex and womens) and other stuff in the goody bag, each bib had a ticket for an Iron Horse Brewing beer (three options!), and a Bulleit cocktail (Manhattan with cherry, neat, or whiskey/coke), there was tons of free stuff at the event. Two kinds of energy drinks, Muscle Milk, Ziva dark chocolate mustaches, Movember temporary tattoos, sweatbands, bracelets and stickers, and drawings for prizes. Although there wasn't a photobooth (as mentioned on the website), but there were two great backdrops for taking photos! The post-race party was tons of fun, and Pat and I were a little bummed that we had to leave. Overall, the Portland Mustache Dache was REALLY REALLY fun and I can't wait until next year (even with the hill!)
After the Mustache Dache and post-race festivities, Pat and I headed to the Ugly Sweater Run
at Griffith Park in Beaverton. She had texted some of her friends at the Ugly Sweater Run to let them know we were running late, but apparently the race started 15 minutes late. When we arrived, I did a quick change into my "ugly sweater" (I don't actually have one and didn't want to buy one, so I wore my Burton faux-sweater printed long sleeve tech shirt), but we kept our mustaches and Mustache Dache medals on! Although we were given hats as part of our entry fee, we didn't wear them since it would be pretty hot.
The race was already well underway by the time we crossed the starting line. Since the race wasn't timed, we were just trying to get an extra 5k in, and support Toys for Tots! It's an out and back course, everyone could see Pat and I running by ourselves to catch up. People cheered for us though, which was nice! The atmosphere was fun and friendly. Parts of the course were a little crowded, but people quickly moved out of the way. The worst part of the actual course was that there was only one available restroom on the entire course (plenty at the start/finish though!).
At the finish, lines for hot cocoa were long, and the lines to get into the beer garden were RIDICULOUSLY long. No one wanted to wait (except me haha) so we left after I bought a Bro-Dog and a cookie (I was hungry!).
I liked the course, the entry fee was inexpensive since I got a deal on Groupon for $20, and the Ugly Sweater Run hat is fun and different. But it was kind of a bummer that it wasn't chip timed, that there weren't more bathrooms on the course, and that the lines were so long for beer (please have more people checking ID's!!!). While I might consider doing this race if they changed up a few things, if it conflicts with another race, I'm not sure I'd register for Ugly Sweater Run again.
is a monthly subscription service for makeup or accessories that are "curated just for you"!
While there are other beauty boxes that claim to acknowledge your preferences, I really appreciate that Wantable really gives you the opportunity to pinpoint what sort of products you like (or you can just skip these steps and get a generalized box). Check it out:
And then you go into further detail!!! For example, here are your eyeshadow options:
Each makeup box promises to have 4-6 full sized products. So here was what was in my Wantable box:
- FACE Stockholm lipgloss (full size)
- Michael Marcus blush (full size)
- Mineral eyeshadow in (full size)
- Lise Watier Ombre Souffle Supreme cream eyeshadow samples
- FACE Stockholm gel eyeliner (full size)
Left to right: FACE Stockholm lipgloss; Michael Marcus blush; Mineral eyeshadow; FACE Stockholm cream eyeliner
The products totally fell within my desired product criteria, which was great. How I felt about Wantable boxes as a subscription service in general:
- Much, much more customized than most subscription beauty boxes.
- You get several full-sized products, instead of primarily samples or deluxe samples.
- Good products (but nothing standout).
- On the more expensive side ($40 for a single box, $36 for a subscription).
COULD GO EITHER WAY:
- Not the typical brands that you'd find at Sephora/Ulta.
In terms of the specific products I received in this particular box--the quality of the products was generally good, but not AH-MAY-ZING. The August Wantable box products are definitely products that I don't mind having in my makeup bag, but I didn't find anything to be particularly rave-worthy. Lipgloss+Spandex rating:
I've been curious about essential oils for awhile, and have been wanting to try them... But they can be a little expensive, and since I didn't really know much about them I was hesitant to purchase dozens of bottles of the stuff trying to figure out what I neede. Fortunately my friend Phil is very knowledgeable and hooked me up with some DoTERRA essential oils
and shared a wealth of knowledge with me!
Essential oils are "non water-based phytochemicals made up of volatile organic compounds." They've been used as treatments for various ailments for centuries, and the benefits are being proven today by science. That's really cool! I was lucky enough to test out eight different essential oils and blends. Essential oils are great because they can be absorbed through your skin, you can breathe them, and some of them you can ingest (this is the reason you want theraputic grade essential oils, like the ones from DoTERRA)! And each essential oil has multiple functions. Lemon
$13.33 for 15mL"Lemon is known as a powerful aromatic, topical, and internal cleanser that can be used to complement many other oils. Diffusing lemon in a room can cleanse the air and uplift mood. It can also be used on surfaces throughout the home as a non-toxic cleaning booster. For aromatic, topical or dietary use."
I liked mixing a few drops into my water! You can do hot water or cold water, it's good either way. (Note: Phil warned that I should not put citrus essential oils in plastic bottles!)
$27.33 for 15mL"Peppermint is popular in countless forms, from toothpaste to chewing gum. As an essential oil, it is useful to ease breathing and as a digestive aid*. For aromatic, topical, or dietary use."
A few drops of peppermint essential oil is good in hot or cold water as well, or you can do a mix of lemon and peppermint! It's a tasty way to "enhance" your water without adding tons of fake sugar or chemicals into your body. Seriously, a drop or two would make a pretty minty 16 oz of water, and then the peppermint essential oil residue in my cup would flavor my water for a few fills afterwards as well--a little goes a long way!!! Putting a drop on my palms and breathing it in felt good, and it had a cooling sensation on my skin (apply it to the back of your neck), and it tastes VERY refreshing and minty.Melaleuca (Tea Tree)
$25.33 for 15mL"Recognized by its more common name "tea tree", melaleuca has been revered for its cleansing and regenerative properties, especially for the skin. Composed of more than ninety different compounds, melaleuca has limitless therapeutic applications. For aromatic, dietary, or topical use."
I've been having some breakouts lately, but after I applied a bit of this for two nights in a row, my skin was looking much better. I would definitely consider buying more of this.Frankincense
$93.00 for 15mL"Perhaps the most precious of the ancient oils, frankincense is highly sought after by modern consumers for its many uses, including relaxation, immune support, and mood enhancement. For aromatic, topical or dietary use."
VERY expensive, but it has a really pleasant scent to it. Phil suggested applying it to the temples, mid forehead, base of the neck and bottoms of the feet.Breathe (respiratory blend)
$26.67 for 15mL"Respiratory issues are prevalent in modern society, and dōTERRA® essential oils are a perfect way to ease breathing consistently for a sustained benefit. Breathe is a remarkable blend of CPTG® essential oils which combine to do just that, help you breathe easier. A proprietary blend including laurel leaf, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, lemon and ravensara cleanses and soothes the airways, and can easily be applied topically to the chest, back, or bottom of feet. Its pleasant aroma is calming to the senses and perfect for night time diffusion allowing for restful sleep. For aromatic or topical use."
I get seasonal allergies and this does help clear up my sinuses!Balance (grounding blend)
$26.67 for 15mL"Everyone experiences moments of disconnectedness or anxiety. The warm, woody aroma of Balance, dōTERRA®'s grounding blend, creates a sense of calm and well-being. We perfectly blend spruce, rosewood, frankincense, and blue tansy with fractionated coconut oil to offer an enticing fragrance which promotes tranquility and a sense of balance. For aromatic or topical use."On-Guard (protective blend)$42.67 for 15mL"On Guard is dōTERRA®'s unique, proprietary blend formulated to support healthy immune function. Wild orange essential oil, combined with clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary offer a fragrant, natural and effective alternative to synthetic options for immune support. On Guard, with its unique aroma, is one of our most versatile blends. It is also safe to use on counter tops, as a non-toxic way to cleanse surfaces, or to purify the atmosphere by diffusing. For aromatic, topical, or dietary use."
It's a good product to use to defend against colds (I really did notice a difference in how well my body was fighting off stuff when I was using this, versus when I wasn't!). It's also a great cleaning product.
Elevation (joyful blend)$49.33 for 15mL"Elevation is the perfect blend for those moments when you need to be revitalized. This exciting blend provides an invigorating combination of CPTG® essential oils that can elevate your mood and increase your energy. Elevation is a blend of lavandin, tangerine, elemi, lemon myrtle, melissa, ylang ylang, osmanthus and sandalwood blended flawlessly for an immediate and dramatic effect. For aromatic or topical use."
For runners, Phil suggested Breathe, peppermint and lemon as being the top picks. He said he also enjoys Oregano essential oil, which he says is great for cooking, because you only need a drop for lots of flavor, and likes to put some essential oil into his Soda Stream.
I really, really liked using all of these. I learned a ton, and feel like I'll actually get the benefits of using essential oils! Instead of putting all sorts of drugs and man-made chemicals in my body, it was nice to just use natural, high-quality essential oils! A lot of the oils from DoTERRA seem expensive, but the quality is very important, and you use so little at a time that even a small sample bottle seems to last FOREVER because you only need a drop or two at a time. And you can make it go even further by mixing it in with water (shake it) or mixing it with coconut oil! The essential oil packaging is simple and classic, but I do with that droppers were standard with these, because the cap can get a little messy (and I don't like to waste product or get it onto other stuff unintentionally). If you're looking to try essential oils, I definitely recommend DoTERRA