A Duffle Like No other! Apera Bags Review and Giveaway!

disclosure: Apera bags provided me with a bag for myself and a bag for my giveaway. All opinions are my own.

Last Christmas I found Apera Bags. I really had no idea how a bag could make life "easier."  I mean, a bag is a bag right? WRONG! These bags are so much more.

Last year I got to try the sling bag. But this year, I got the Duffle Pack. This bag is sleek and sophisticated. There are no unnecessary or unwanted loops, straps or items hanging about outside the bag. This translates into a very slim profile that is modern and functional.I am taking this bag on my trip tomorrow. It will be my carry-on. Access to the inside compartment of the Duel Pack is unique and duffel-like. Lay the bag on its water resistant front and open along the zippered spine for wide, easy access to the main compartment.  That means no more reaching in and losing items at the bottom of the traditional backpack. Everything is easy to find an right at your fingertips.

It's great for organizing things too. I know exactly where my headphones are and I use the padded pocket for my phone. It's great!  I highly recommend this bag to fitness people, but I also recommend it to anyone needing a duffle bag to carry. It's the best! 

You can order one from the info below or you can enter to win one here: 

Regularly $119, now on sale for

 only $71.40!

No coupon code needed -- 40% 

off sale price reflected in cart.

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Momentum: Designs that Move You
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Reebok ONE Speed Freese
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Sarasota Music Half Marathon giveaway
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Looking good while you work out! Review and Giveaway!

We all have a t-shirt or tank that has some great saying on it that keeps us going right? I love my tank that says "Suck it up!" Reminds me of my favorite saying, "Suck it Up Buttercup!" Well, that is fine until that shirt is dirty and you still need motivation, or you are running and can't see the shirt. 

I recently found Momentum Jewelry when my friend Kelly Gregorakis wrote about them. I thought that it was so cool that I could wear a bracelet while I was working out and use it as a sweat band if needed. 

Momentum offers hand-crafted, workout-friendly jewelry for fitness-focused individuals. Featuring our innovative MOTIVATE WRAP™ bracelet (patent pending). 

I love mine! How great is it to look down at my wrist when I am in the middle of a plank or looking up at during a chest press. I want to live every second of my life with passion, so that is the saying I chose.  Which one would you choose? You don't have to have it on a bracelet... you can wear it on your shoe, you can order a necklace, or even on your head. You need to head over to and check it out.  And enter to win one of your own here: 

Momentum: Designs that Move You
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Reebok ONE Speed Freese
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Sarasota Music Half Marathon giveaway
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Reebok ONE Speed Freese Review and Giveaway

It's official! I am going to be running the Sarasota Half Marathon. With Ryan at the finish line... I had to do it! Man, that would be some nice motivation...

I have to start training. I definitely needed some new shoes to start off this adventure. I contacted them about my 12 days of giveaways theme on the blog. I asked if they could provide me with a pair of shoes to review and giveaway, and THEY DID!

Did you know that Reebok was founded for one of the best reasons I can think of... Runners wanted to run faster... 

The Speed Freese 
Cold Weather? Not a problem with these shoes. Wow! These shoes are incredible. I am going to North Carolina next week and I will definitely be running in them. Not only are they adorable, but there is so much more. This Reebok ONE training shoe is ready to handle the winter cold. They provide warmth, anti-friction lining for reduced moisture build-up and an outsole design that gives a "gecko-like" grip! That is so so cool! 

These are the three color choices on these shoes. 

I took these shoes out for my first couple of run/walks over the last week. Between treadmill and outside, they were great! They are so lightweight and they have anti-friction that keeps your foot from slipping. No matter how hard your workout is, you will feel better wearing these shoes! 

You can check these shoes out here: They are offering free 2 day shipping! Go order! QUICKLY!

Reebok ONE Speed Freese
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Sarasota Music Half Marathon #win

disclosure: This entry and the giveaway entry was given to me by the Sarasota Music Half Marathon. All opinions are my own.

I am very excited to share with you that I am officially signed up for the Sarasota Music Half Marathon.

Date:   Sunday, February 8, 2015
Start Time:  7:00 a.m.
Start / Finish:  Start at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, over the Ringling Bridge and back, pass Selby Gardens, up Orange Ave into the Cherokee Park neighborhood, back through Selby Gardens and finish at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall!
Discounted entry fee ends Dec. 31, 2014!

Only $85.00

I have been trying to find a way to get myself motivated to run. Rather than wait til 2015, I am starting now! I will be running two half marathons at the beginning of the year. One is this one, and the other is the Sarasota First Watch. I am offering a free entry to the Sarasota Music Half Marathon to you! See below for details on how to win.

I will be following this training plan. (Unless I find something I like better... you have any good ones?)

I am really excited about this, but I am also really realistic. I know that I am probably not going to have an epic, fast time, but I look forward to pushing myself and feeling good about myself. At the end of the day, I only have to impress the "gal" in the mirror right?

Here's What You Get:
courtesy of Sarasota Music Half Marathon's website
  • Gourmet Athlete Post Race Brunch with Signature Mimosas, French Toast Crostini Topped with Syrup, Strawberries & Whipped Cream, Scrambled Eggs, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Freshly Baked Mini Muffins, Biscuits & Bagels, Cream Cheese, Whipped Butter & Fruit Preserves, Breakfast Potatoes with Peppers & Onions, Fresh Fruit & Berries with Freshly Snipped Mint, Bananas & Oranges.
  • Motown Party with Reverend Barry & Funktastic Soul featuring the Hellacious Horns.
  • Enjoy the botanical gardens as you run through Selby Gardens at Mile 10.
  • Girl Scout Cookie Zone
  • Really cool tech t-shirt (Yes, we have separate shirts for boys and girls!)
  • A great finisher’s medal that doesn’t weigh 5 lbs.
  • Post-race beer party (21+)
  • A 13.1 mile moving party!
This is not your typical Rock n’ Roll type event, there are more bands and entertainment stations per mile than any other half marathon or marathon in the country!  And your dollar goes a lot further here — 22 local non-profits will receive a total $25K from organizers and the finish line full is a catered breakfast buffet (stuffed french toast anyone?) by one of the leading local caterers.

Sure to be an inspiring run!  What are you waiting for? Register today for the coveted free entry!
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#Atkins Breakfast on the Go!

~Follow Atkins for More Tips & Recipes

I have been going Atkins strong for almost 2 months now. I have cheated some but over I am doing well and I am 16 lbs. down from where I started! That is progress. I just registered for my first half marathon in 2 years (ok, so I have only ever done one but still... pretty huge!)
I have been working on the Atkins campaign for Fitfluential and when I started I had no idea about the products out there. I didn't know that there were frozen meals, meal replacement bars and even meal replacement shakes. This month, I tried the breakfast meals for the first time.
If you are anything like me, breakfast is the hardest meal to get in. It doesn't matter what time I wake up, I am always rushing out the door at the last minute. It doesn't make sense. LOL... anyways, the idea of a breakfast sandwich that I can heat up and go is very enticing.
These breakfast sandwiches offer enough protein to keep me satisfied through the morning. Truthfully, it tasted good. I put some tabasco sauce on it to give it a little kick, and it was great. My son liked his too! (that is a plus because he ALWAYS wants to stop on the way to school for fast food) One thing is for certain, the ingredients in this vs. fast food win hands down!
Some people are going to want to point out the bad things in the ingredients, but I want to tell you that no matter what, we are doing better than we were. I don't have time to be organic, so please don't try to compare this. I am seeing results! This works!
If you are looking for ways to stop the cravings, here are some tips!
1. Stick with food that is high in protein, vitamins and fiber. Make sure it's low in sugar. Atkins Advantage bars are great. I always have one in my purse.
2. Drink water! Thirst often is mistaken for hunger. Stay hydrated! If you struggle with this, add fruit into your water. It makes you feel fancy too!
3. Greek yogurt is a great snack. You can spruce it up with some blueberries, granola, almonds, or raspberries. YUM!
4. When I have a sweet tooth, I have low fat cottage cheese with a little bit of sugar free Jell-O powder over it. DELISH! and it cures the sweet tooth!
What are your snacking secrets?
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Atkins.


Insurance Shopping for Health Care... It's not easy!

disclosure: This post is sponsored by United Healthcare but all opinions are my own. 

Insurance shopping can be EXTREMELY stressful, but this go around, I am learning that it doesn't have to be.

UnitedHealthCare is making it as easy as 1-2-3. Here is some help with open enrollment.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Affordable Care Act or ACA, but I’m not sure how much you know about it. In the simplest terms, the ACA helps more people get quality and affordable health insurance. It gives people the consistency and flexibility to make informed choices about their health care in ways they’ve never had before.

Did you know that almost 87% of health insurance applicants were eligible to receive a discount last year? Many are not aware of the money they can save by knowing just a little more about health insurance. I will be providing tools and assistance to make finding the right health insurance as simple and easy as possible. I want to help you learn more about this campaign and how it might help you.

The more you know about the Affordable Care Act, the better prepared you'll be to make smart decisions about your coverage. First,learn about what has changed in health care. The ACA has raised the Medicaid limits in some states so more are eligible and is offering subsidies to eligible income levels above medicaid but still in the realm of struggling. See what open enrollment is all about and why it matters to you. Essentially, you need to use the time of open enrollment to get the proper health plan bought and set for your family. Find a plan between Nov 15 and Feb 15 to have coverage from the marketplace in 2015.

There are certain qualifying events that allow you to use a special enrollment period. The exchanges or the marketplace is a website that allows you to compare plans from a variety of providers much like Travelocity. This website will be either the government website or your state’s individual marketplace website.

So, you are discovering all of this new information about health care and what’s involved in the shopping process, but it’s only fair that you should know how to get the most out of your health care plan. Costs within health care can be daunting. Check your deductible and out-of-pockets on a regular basis to stay ahead. When deciding on a plan, look for value ads provided by the company such as nurse lines, apps, and health club discounts too! Also, make sure to ask you Doctor how much medical tests will cost and if there are less costly alternatives.

Best of luck in this process. I hope this helps to make things a little easier. For me, Health insurance shopping has been really important. I left my job in May and had to shop for insurance. I didn't do my homework and relied on someone else to find my plan. I got a very inexpensive plan, but NONE of my doctors accepted my insurance, and the only people who did were 45 min. away. That was a problem. Especially when I broke my foot. It opened my eyes to being informed. At the end of the day, the only person who is going to check and double check things is me!

Before I even started shopping, I contacted my Gyn. That is my most important doctor because I have had health issues over the last year and ovarian cancer runs in my family. I called them and asked which plans they were going to accept. I made sure that I had an informed list from them. Then I called my primary care to ensure that they would accept the choices.  Now, I am informed and ready to find the best plan for my money. I am taking into account deductibles, prescription plans, and co-pay cost. It's a little scary, but I know that I am prepared for shopping this time. I hope you are too.

What is the biggest worry that you have about insurance?

#Win with ShowerPill and win a box of ShowerPill wipes!

Disclosure: ShowerPill gave me product to review and giveaway but all opinions are my own.

A couple years ago, I was introduced to a company called ShowerPill. First of all, I love the name. Wouldn't it be a time saver to take a magic pill that was a shower. (Even though I do enjoy a nice hot shower after a hard workout)  Although this product isn't a "pill," it is in fact a remedy. It's a great thing to have in your gym bag for a "runch" (running lunch) or a quick workout where you don't have time for a full shower.

The ShowerPill is "an antibacterial wipe for your body.  It is like wiping down with soap and water which leaves skin feeling clean, fresh and moisturized. One ShowerPill sport wipe cleans your entire body. It will save you time, decrease chance of skin infections, and keep you fresh and clean when a traditional shower is not possible.

-Extra thick like a washcloth

-Kills 99.99% of germs including Staph

-Aloe Vera & Vitamin E

-Quick dry solution, no sticky residue

-Light fresh scent

-Hypoallergenic & Gentle on Sensitive Skin

-Paraben & Alcohol FREE

Each individually wrapped towel fits conveniently into your gym bag.

Now you have a chance to win your own box of ShowerPill wipes... Tell me, what type of workout would you do that would need a ShowerPill? Don't forget to enter my other giveaways.

Enter to win a Polar Loop
Enter to win Kool'N Fit

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Kool'n fit Spray! #Win!!!

Disclosure: Kool'N Fit was given to me to try and also to give away to my readers. All opinions are my own.

12 Days of Christmas Giveaways! Don't forget to enter yesterday's Polar Loop giveaway here: POLAR LOOP fitness tracker

We all have those days when we are so so sore during a workout. I know I have. When it gets like this, we have to find a way to get through our workouts because it's just what we do. I was recently introduced to Kool'N Fit, by my good friend and fellow Polar Ambassador, Suzy. Suzy is an Ultrawoman... 
(Suzy's blog) You need to check it out. If anyone would know about sore muscles, it's Suzy! 

Kool'N fit is the best and only Performance Spray on the market. The original formula comes from Europe (Germany), was developed in the 1880's by German Pharmacist and has been in the same family ever since. Also it was marketed since the 1880's with exception during the 2 wars. In 1984 one of the family members came to CA and started the business here in the USA. In the meantime many of the NFL teams are our customers, thousands of athletes, from cycling to running and tri-Athlons, are using the product as an edge over their competition. It's an all natural none-ozone spray; 15 different herbal oils are compounded into a great solution, which works on contact. There is no need to rub it in. It will activate once it is absorbed, in about 1 minute's time and the overall effect of the product is 3.5 to 4 hours. It can be applied as many times as needed.
It is antispasmodic, relives cramps almost instantly, it increases blood flow by up to 31% under the area it is applied to*, and it's a pain relief. Applied before any activity it speeds up the warm up process, so that precious time is not used to warm up the muscles, used during longer runs to alleviate tightness and fatigue and provide the extra energy to finish, and after the events to allow the fast exchange of toxins, lactic acid to be replaced by fresh oxygenated blood, nutrients and cool soothing relief to the overworked muscles. That in turn allows for a faster and more complete recovery time. There is no animal testing done nor does the product contain any PEDs. That is why many Universities and Colleges use the product successfully in their athletic departments.

What intrigues me most about this is using it during a workout. I think back to my half marathon, and I wish I had this. It would have been great to be able to spray this for a quick boost to a sore or crampy muscle. You should try it! It really does help!!!

You are in luck! I am giving away 6 (4oz) bottles and 6 (100 spray) refillables to take along during a run.

What is the most difficult workout you do? Would this spray help you? And make sure you enter my other giveaways!

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Enter to win a Polar Loop
Enter to win a box of ShowerPill wipes


12 Days of #Christmas #Giveaway! #win

Disclosure: Polar gave me a Polar Loop to give away, but all of my opinions are my own.

Yay!!! It's the most wonderful time of the year!!! 

Yes, I mean it's holiday time, but even better than that, it's time for GIVEAWAYS!!!

The first giveaway for this year is a Polar Loop!!! 
I know that everyone is talking about getting an activity tracker these days and I agree that is it a must-have for this holiday season. But which one should you get? Well, it's obvious! Why not get one from the best in the business. Polar has been a leading developer of Heart Rate monitors for years.

The design is cool and now comes in colors other than black. (I have a black one, and now I am going to have top shop for a blue or black currant) I am loving the new colors! Sleek, sexy and stylish!!! My giveaway will be for a black currant loop.

How does it make you move? It tracks every step you make... it tracks your activity... and it tells you how many calories you burn. A unique feature that the Polar Loop has is that it will sync with a bluetooth unit and strap. Now you can have your daily activity and your heart rate during a workout all in one device! Too awesome! My son, my boyfriend and I all have one. We have had to go for late night walks in order to meet our daily goals, and doing it together certainly makes it more fun.  It is really simple to set up, and it charges by connected to a computer or an outlet. It will also sync to your smart phone.  One thing that I really love is seeing how I am sleeping. I know that sleep is an area where I need help, and this tracker keeps me aware of how much sleep I am getting a night and what type of sleep I am getting. 
So, it's time... Enter for a chance to win your very own Polar Loop (Black currant)

And tell me... What activities do you do to keep active during the holidays? 

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New Years Resolutions are NOT over yet! And eating on the go with #Atkins

Here I am a month into this diet and I am down 14 lbs. I am pretty pleased with that weight loss thus far. I know that I can be stricter as well, so I am looking forward to staying true to the diet this month. Not only will I be trying to keep at it, but I have also joined a DietBet to help. I can win money if I lose 4% of my body weight for the month. I WILL LOSE WEIGHT IN DECEMBER!!!! No excuses! You can join here:
Diets are tough because they take planning. I've said it before and I will say it again... I don't plan! I fail at planning every single time! Atkins allows me to be unplanned easily. I can always stop by the store and grab a box of their Blueberry Greek Yogurt Bars and keep them in my office or even my car. Simple and easy! And DELISH~

Atkins has a total of 24 different varieties of snacks and meal bars. There is definitely something for everyone. The Blueberry greek yogurt bars are my favorite! And lately my job has been so busy that I don't have time to stop and eat. This is a great way to get the healthy eating I need in very little time. There is enough protein and fiber to keep me going through the rest of the day without feeling hungry.
So as I begin this December, I know that I won't let the holidays stop me from being healthy. I know that I can avoid the cookies and candies by staying full and keeping my water nearby!
How do you avoid the holiday craziness in your diet? Please comment below!~ I need your advice! Let's help each other!
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This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Atkins.