Monday, March 10, 2014

StrideBox Review: Making Mailboxes Happy

*I would just like to clarify that I am not compensated in any shape or form for this post.  Just a good old fashioned and un-biased review giving you the scoop, ice cream.*

Seems like everywhere you turn there is a new monthly subscription product that you can sign up makeup products, new pair of shoes to try each each month, dollar shave club (brilliant marketing team), the list goes on and on.  We're becoming a society of pure convenience and we're willing to pay for it!  It was only a matter of time before one hit the market that finally spoke to can keep your makeup products and fancy shoes, send me something I'll actually use!  

After looking at a few different options out there on the market and seeing several reviews (some paid, some not) I decided to go with StrideBox.  Why?  I loved the clean and simplistic layout of their website.  After working in this industry for the last 9 years I guess you could say that I do 'judge a book by its cover' when it comes to a company and their web presence.  Your website is your shot at making that first impression!  If it's bland, confusing, or too busy...I'm out.  I liked that the subscription itself was a flat $15 fee each month with shipping included.  I know every company of this nature has to charge shipping, so please just roll in the cost and lets all move on.  After spending a few moments reviewing the details I signed up for a monthly delivery. Since Brandon and I are both avid runners, I figured there would be things that both of us would like to try and some things that maybe only he would like, so $15 didn't feel like anything would go to waste.  We LOVE trying new products but don't really have the time to frequent our running stores and check out what's new, so this seemed to be a perfect idea!   

On Saturday my mailbox was full of typical spam but there she was waiting for me:

I was giddy to tear into it and see what was inside: 

Wrapped nicely in a St. Patrick's Day theme.

I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of items which included everything from electrolyte mix, GU, and fancy velcro to keep your shoelaces from getting loose!  I was really excited over these because I have this issue constantly with my Ghost 6.  Why did you have to go and change the laces Brooks?! 

They also include The Stride Guide to detail out the items and the costs associated with each if you'd like to purchase them in the future:

I have faith that you're all efficient Google'ers and can research these items on your own instead of me listing everything out.  The variety of the items inside coupled with it only being $15 /month is really hard to say 'no' to.  I'm curious to see as time goes on how the variety of both types of products and brands offered evolves to keep things new and exciting!    Overall, Brandon and I loved the box and look forward to getting the next one!   

Do you subscribe to any of these fun things to make your mailbox happy?  I can see how this could become a little addicting...

Friday, March 7, 2014

A few things I'm loving right now!

Over the last few weeks I've made an extra effort to start substituting in more healthy alternatives to the things we usually eat.  We are by no means "clean eaters" but we do make an effort to try and eat mostly clean.  For those of you who eat 100% clean, I don't know how you do it but kudos to you.  Everything in moderation right?

One of things I've been wanting to try is to make homemade energy bars.  Out of boredom this past weekend I scoured the interwebs looking for recipes and saw several that I liked!  Based on the ingredients I had available (and the fact that I wasn't about to go to the grocery store) I ended up using this recipe found over here.  I tweaked the recipe to fit our needs by using extra oats, Vanilla Muscle Gain Protein and sadly had to skip the chocolate chips because we didn't have any....womp womp.  I drizzled the honey on top of the mixture and attempted to make them into little balls.  Epic fail.  Since I figured we'll be using these and pre-workout snacks, I grabbed a 1/4 measuring cup and packed the mixture into it and voila:

Who knew that oats, peanut butter, vanilla protein and honey could come together in harmony to make a DELICIOUS snack!  They are so tasty and while I use them for pre-workouts they'd also suffice as a good sweet tooth killer.  Next time though, chocolate chips will be added!

Via another blogger I was introduced to the greatness that is PB2.  I've only had the PB2 Chocolate but plan on picking up the regular PB in the next grocery visit.

We've been using it as a dip for graham crackers to cure the sweet tooth, but just this morning I decided to make a green smoothie with it.  Spinach, milk, Chocolate Muscle Gain, PB2 Chocolate, and two frozen bananas came together beautifully!  A much different spin on the green smoothie but awesome nonetheless!

For starters I have to profess my love for Amazon Prime.  Does it get ANY better than free two day shipping?  I think not.  I'm a book nerd and love actual books...tangible pretty books, with pages I can turn and make notes on if I need to.  A friend on Instagram posted her progress at just three weeks using the Ultimate Booty Workout program.   I'm not one to say "OMG I must do whatever you're doing" but she's an athlete I respect so I took this one far more seriously.  It's not about the looking good in a swimsuit part (yes of course, added bonus) but more so for strengthening the glutes and hips.  When it comes to distance running, just picture your glutes and hips like the foundation on a house.  It is the platform to your running and it needs to be made strong, sturdy, and balanced to ensure that everything else around it works properly.  I've put a ton of focus on strengthening these areas this year, and I'm hoping this book is just another weapon in the arsenal.

Our new love of green smoothies left me wanting a recipe book to expand my knowledge of what other fun things I can toss in the Vitamix for a nutritious treat.  I particularly loved this book because it also explains the benefits of each ingredient and why we need it.  My brain is one big sponge and constantly loves to learn!

Oh did I also mention that it is Friday and I LOVE Friday's?!  What exciting things are you loving recently?