Tuesday, September 15, 2015

If You're Going to San Francisco...

...be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. 


If I told you how long I've dreamed of going to CA you'd think I'm crazy for waiting this long to make it happen.  What can I say.  Maybe I was waiting for the perfect time.  Sometimes the stars align perfectly and things finally work out.  Just like I believe one day true love will.

I'm signing off the blog for the next 2 weeks.  I'll be driving a tiny rental car up the coast and won't be anywhere near a computer.  The only thing I plan to do is upload photos to IG (jillyruns) to keep a travel diary for myself.  Otherwise, I think I'll remain mostly unplugged so I can absorb the new world around me.  And so I don't accidentally drive myself off a cliff on those windy coastal roads.

Things have been shifting for me over the past 2 years and all the signs I've been seeing lately point to big changes ahead.  I don't remember the last time I was filled with such excitement, hope, wonder and belief in what's to come.  And I love it.

Keep your heads in the clouds my friends.  Catch you on the flip side!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Bulu Box Review

Hellooooo and Happy Monday!  I got one full night of sleep this weekend and I felt like a new woman! And then I woke up at 5:30am to work on Sunday.  AHHH.  But in 2 days I'll be sailing off into the crimson California sunset and that vision alone has been sustaining me for weeks! 

Alright now on to bigger and better things.  Today I'm reviewing a healthy sample subscription called Bulu Box.  **I received a complimentary Bulu Box as part of my affiliation with SweatPink but all opinions are mine alone!

Bulu Box is the second variety of healthy living sample boxes that I've tried.  If you recall, my sister had been forwarding me all of her Strideboxes while she was pregnant so I was living large for awhile there!  My nephew was just born in June but my sister is already running again (side note: AMAZING!) so my freebie days may be numbered.  Unless she gets knocked up again (I KID, LAURA). 

Bulu Box is a bit different in that it is not specifically targeted to runners, but is marketed more to whole health/fitness/diet interests.  In fact, you can choose from 2 different boxes when you sign up:  The Bulu Box Original, which is focused on health and fitness, or the Weight Loss box. 

Here's the box I received:

I got 5 pretty varied samples and I'm guessing this was the Original box. 

The products in my box included:
  • Quest Protein Powder (2 pouches)
  • Movit Energy Gummies
  • Mediterra Savory Energy Bar
  • Earth's Care Anti-Itch Cream
  • Yerba Prima Fiber Plus Powder
I've tried a few of the samples so far. 

This was my favorite:

They taste like CANDY!!  I've used gummy energy chews in the past (Shot Bloks, Honey Stinger chews, etc) and of course I love them all.  Did I mention they taste like candy?!  I used these most recently on one of my run/walks (yeah, incorporating some running intervals back in which don't seem to be making things any worse so far!).  They are yummy and good cardio fuel.

I also tried the Mediterra Bar which was interesting to say the least:

This was my first foray into the new savory energy bar trend.  The bars I eat on a regular basis are all sweet, so this was a whole new ballgame.  And one that I felt like the visiting team for.  I don't know how to describe the flavor of this Sundried Tomato & Basil bar other than to say it was like a combination of eating my grandmother's spaghetti sauce on top of a tomato pie pizza with a side of meatball sub, minus the meatballs.  HAHAHA  Very strange.  I fully enjoy the strong flavors of Italy represented here but I was only able to eat a couple bites of this.  I don't think I'm yet ready for the world of savory bars. 

I unfortunately cannot sample the Quest powders because they are whey-based and that is NO BUENO for lactose intolerant folks.  Not in the mood to destroy my insides days before boarding a 6 hour cross-country flight! HAHA

For the same reason, I also did not sample the fiber powder.  If there is one thing I do not need more of in my diet, it is fiber.  I know many people can benefit from added fiber, but I think I mentioned before I have IBS, and so I am quite regular (too regular!) in that department.  So maybe I'll give this to my mom.

I didn't try the anti-itch cream yet since I haven't really had many mosquito bites this summer, but I may pack this in my bag in the event I do get bit while out west.

With any subscription boxes, you usually end up with some products you love, some you like and some you can't use.  It's a grab bag and I think that's part of the appeal!

I think Bulu Box may be better for those interested in general wellness products and not those interested in products just for runners.

I checked out the prices and Bulu Box is actually cheaper than Stridebox!  Bulu Boxes are $10 each and there is no monthly commitment. You can subscribe month-to-month or buy them in 3 month increments.  (For comparison, StrideBox is $15.)

If you are interested in trying out Bulu Box you can get 50% off a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription using discount code SWEATPINK! 

Have a great week!

Do you subscribe to any sample box services?

How was your weekend?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thinking Out Loud #1

After publishing so many random posts over the years on so many random days, I FINALLY decided to link up with Amanda at Running With Spoons for her infamous TOL Thursday post.  I am just all over the place with everything going on in my life currently and felt like I needed to add a little structure to my madness.  I have no idea if I will continue to do this weekly or if I can commit to this week only.  I'm a little delirious this week.  So here we go:

1.  I worked nearly 60 CONSECUTIVE hours over Labor Day weekend starting at 3am Sat morning.  Which means I slept for 2 hours that night.  Ohhhhhhhhhh I'm not kidding.  While everyone was picnicking, beaching, or just sleeping in, I was working.  I'm going on Day 11 of work here without a break.  Obviously if I didn't believe 100% in my work and care so much about it, I would not have made it through.  But having said that, vacation cannot come fast enough!

2.  I'm almost done booking my rooms on Airbnb.  I know what you're thinking.  My trip is less than a week away and I still don't have places to stay?!  See #1 for reference.  I literally have had no down time.  Plus, I am good at rolling last minute.  It's how I thrive.  I've booked a few rooms so far and the hosts I've been in contact with seem really inviting and genuine.  And then I read articles like this:

Ahhhhhhh!  Honestly, stuff like this does not freak me out, but please don't share this with my mother.  Because she will without a doubt book a flight to CA and follow me there! Ha

3.  On the workout front, I'm still not running and my leg is still bothering me :(  I took an entire week of rest, which did absolutely nothing!  So I started back up walking, lifting, biking, rowing and HIIT/strength exercises.  I'm kind of at a loss as to what to do.  I've been trying to ice it when I remember and foam roll more but MAN do I miss running :(

4.  I made these Chocolate Chip Zucchini Banana Bread muffins from My Inner Shakti and they were pretty good!  (I cooked.  I know.  Blame it on the stress/sleep deprivation.)  The only thing I didn't particularly care for was the taste of the whole wheat flour.  I've never baked with it before but it made the muffins a bit denser and drier than I think they would have otherwise been.  So I'd prob use regular flour next time.  And maybe a bit more coconut oil to make them moister.


5.  I am currently addicted to this delicious coconut concoction:

6.  My work can be exhausting at times, but I love it and put my whole heart into it.  And then I get days like this.  I am outside, standing in the middle of a perfect living landscape, playing with a child, and I think DOES IT GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS?!

7.  I have a fortune-telling app on my phone in which I crack a little cookie and get some wise little words each morning.  It's stupendous.  This was one I got a couple days ago.  YES PLEASE

6 MORE DAYS!  I should probably finish booking my rooms and start thinking about what I need to pack?!  I have 1 day off this weekend.  My first in 14 days.  I plan on running around like a chicken with my head cut off accomplishing everything that needs to be done in 24 hours. 

And that's all I have for my very first Thinking Out Loud post. I hope your weeks are a bit calmer than mine!  Go forth and conquer my friends :)

Tell me something RANDOM!

What was the last recipe you made?  How'd it turn out?

Do you enjoy fortune cookies?!

Friday, September 4, 2015

A Few Things Friday

I'm a bit scatterbrained right now with a hectic work schedule and preparing for my west coast trip so today is going to be a bunch of randomness!  No better way to start off the holiday weekend right?!

1.  I have been making and eating faux Chipotle burrito bowls all summer long.  How do I make these you might wonder?  Well I'll tell you!  They involve very little cooking which is a HUGE plus!

The base is this summer salad recipe I got from my sister last year and have made dozens of times since because I love it so much:

(Black beans, red pepper, cilantro.
I left out the corn this time because I ate corn-on-the-cob with dinner)
Then I add some ground turkey with taco seasoning:
Sometimes I stop there and sometimes I add rice.  This was brown rice in a bag which took about 2 minutes to make in the microwave! HA

And TA-DA!  A delicious homemade burrito bowl:

If I make this at the beginning of the week, there are enough leftovers that I can eat it for dinner for the rest of the week.  So quick and easy when I come home from work.  And that is the extent of my cooking and meal planning abilities.

2.  While we're on the topic of food, I ate at Nalley Fresh for the first time ever this week and it was SO good!  I can't believe I've never tried it before.  It's a salad place that has 6 locations around Baltimore.  You can build your own salad with whatever ingredients you want and they have a ton to choose from.  Everything was incredibly fresh and delicious, and it kind of reminded me of my favorite-ever salad restaurant in the world, Chop't. 

3.  Still talking food here.  (You would think I'm starving but I'm typing this right after dinner.) Anywho, you know how Amazon sends you emails with recommendations based on past purchases?  Well, I received one of those recently and this was one of the items they recommended...GAG!

Just looking at that picture again is making me nauseous.  I don't eat potato chips (don't like them) and I am not really a fan of ketchup.  So a ketchup potato chip sounds like my worst nightmare.  The rest of the email contained vitamins, protein bars and running socks so I have no idea why they thought ketchup flavored potato chips would tickle my fancy.  BARF

4.  MORE FOOD.  What is going on with me tonight?!  Naked finally came out with some non-dairy  protein drinks.  So I picked up this one recently to try:

It's non-dairy and vegan and contains a bunch of fruit, which are all good things, but I didn't realize the protein was soy-based.  I've been trying to stay away from that so I probably won't buy this again, and the flavor wasn't that great either.  Live and learn.

5.  And finally a NON FOOD item!  I got these shoes for the wedding I'll be attending in CA at DSW for $10!!!  I kid you not.

They were on clearance for $20 and then I had a $10 coupon.  I felt like an extreme couponer without the cameras and fame.  The only wedding appropriate shoes I have are heels, and since the wedding is going to be outside at a vineyard I wanted comfortable flats or wedges.  These are wedges and they are really really comfortable.  They are almost as comfy as the flip flips that are permanently attached to my feet.

And that concludes my rambling for today!

Have a great Labor Day weekend, and remember SUMMER'S NOT OVER!

Do you have any quick go-to dinner meals?

Does Amazon ever give you bizarro recommendations?

What was the last great deal you got?!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Beach Life

As much as it kills me to say this, I can feel Summer coming to an end.  Not right away, but I do feel it slowly slipping through my fingers.  The days are getting shorter.  I noticed this weekend that by 7:30 in the evening it was already getting dark and I cried a little inside. 

Luckily, I was able to finally squeeze in a teeny tiny bit of beach time this weekend.  Snuck that summer bucket list item in right under the buzzer.

My family is vacationing at the beach this week and I was able to get away and meet them down there just for the weekend!  It was a quick trip there and back for the night but I still managed to dip my feet in the ocean, sunbathe by the pool, catch up with my sister and now 11-week-old nephew (!) and the rest of my extended family.  Andddddd, my incredible dad worked on my car while I was there and was able to get out most of the scratches the anonymous YMCA offender left me with!  He's the best.  #familytimeisthebesttime

Luckily, I'll be extending my summer a bit when I leave for CA in a couple weeks, but it was still lovely to get a beach weekend in with my family.  It's a yearly tradition and I wasn't sure I'd be able to make it this year.

And now I'll leave you with bunch of pictures so you can forget entirely about the fact that today is Sept 1st.  NOPE.  Still summer over here.  You're welcome :)

Resort grounds:



Me & the Sal man (my Pop-Pop)

The newest member of our family, already 11 weeks!

Proud Aunt Jilly :)

Anddddddddd my new Tinder profile pic.  I jest.  NEVER EVER AGAIN TINDER.  EVER.

Now in order to fully deny that Fall is on the way you're going to have to ignore pumpkin everything right now, along with the Halloween candy and costumes that are somehow already in stores.  Don't let the advertising maniacs that rule the US economy take your summer away from you prematurely!  We still have a full 21 days.  LONG LIVE SUMMER!

Have a great Tuesday everyone.

Have you made it to a beach this summer?

Please tell me you're not ushering in Fall already?!