Instagram Last Weekend: via Blue Diamond Almonds and Influenster

As a blogger I occasionally have opportunities to receive products and review them. This was one of my main reasons for becoming self hosted. Anytime I am given an opportunity to review a product I promise to be truthful about my thoughts. Last weekend I shared two such opportunities on Instagram!

blue diamond honeyThe first thing I received was two tins of Blue Diamond Almonds! I’ve talked about my love of these tasty almonds before, but in case you weren’t aware, you can also sign up for the Tastemakers program! When there are new opportunities, you apply to be selected, and then if selected you receive free product. Of course when you are showcasing the products on social media, you need to include the #ad to be FTC compliant. (if you’re not sure about that, read here.)

These almonds I gifted to my friend Emily as she is busy starting her first big girl job and deserved a good snack. Although I did make her open them so I could taste them, and both Honey flavors were amazing! Now I need to find the Honey Mustard Nut Thins.

vitality voxboxThe second package I received was from Influenster. This is the 3rd time I’ve received something from them, and this is the best box yet! I immediately started using the softlips cube, and think it is awesome, I received the mint flavor, but would also love the Vanilla.

Influenster has the option to do extra work for extra points, which would then possibly allow you to get extra stuff. They also are more specific about what they want tagged and submitted on social media. Also, the require the below discloser.

*”I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.”

Remember I also received the Blue Diamond Honey Almonds for free, but all reviews of any products are my own thoughts.

Do you like seeing sponsored posts? Do you know of other companies that are looking for more blogger participation?

Lakes Country Triathlon 2014: Race Plan

On Sunday morning I’ll be starting my second sprint triathlon! To read about my first, click here. Once again I’ll be racing close to home, so I won’t have to worry about travel.

LAKE COUNTRY TRIATHLONThe Lakes Country Triathlon will be a 1/4 mile swim, 13.6 mile bike, and 3.2 mile run. I’ve swam at Whipple Beach most Wednesdays of July and August. Although I missed last week due to a being sick. I started the beginning of summer being very strong with my Tuesday morning rides, but I only attended a couple in August. My running has been non-existent. After this race I plan on completing the couch to 5k program so my body can get used to running again. I’m hoping that I’ll build up a decent base so I can race in 2015 uninjured and faster!

Wetsuit red swim capOriginally this was going to be my A race of the season. Unfortunately last week I got a nasty cold and I’m still working on getting rid of my cough. During Tri For a Cause I focused on “finish” I had to focus to finish the swim, the bike was fairly easy as I knew the course, but I had to focus on “finish” to keep running.

My phrase for this race will be “just a little” Since the distance is “just a little” shorter, I’m hoping to be “just a little” faster.

I also might have to dig “just a little” deeper to complete the race as Friday I’m going to the Katy Perry Concert, and Saturday I’m hoping to attend a Corepower Yoga Triathlon (which is a sculpt class, run, C2 class).

What are your favorite phrases to say to yourself during a race?


Peace Perspective XXXII: Dreams

Being on cold medicine always makes my sleeping and dreaming a little weird. However even before I caught my summer cold I was dreaming some strange things!

DREAMSYears ago I would have dreams where I was fighting with someone, screaming, crying, the works, I’d wake up tired from the “exertion” and confused as to why I was fighting in the first place.

Lately my dreams have been peaceful, quietly walking with someone, chatting about the past and the future. Yet I still wake up confused. I haven’t been having those types of conversations with anyone lately.

Are dreams omens? Or are they your subconscious working through problems? I don’t know, but I’m glad I’m not fighting anymore!

Life Lately: August 2014

Hello Friends, for a day or two I thought I was going to be doing my Peace Perspectives without a post in between! Here’s what I’ve been up to…

Running the Deerwood Summerfest 5k! I signed up last week thinking I would have a bunch of friends running, turns out I ran on my own, without music, but with my watch. I was pumped with my time 32 minutes and 18 seconds (or something) only to read last year’s review…Oh well!

deerwood summerfest 5kAs soon as the race was done I headed home to get ready for another wedding! At the beginning of the summer I thought I didn’t have many weddings this year…yet somehow I’ve managed to attend 4 already, and have one more in the fall!

Aztec Print DressOn Monday, Missy posted about Secrets and it got me thinking about how the saying “a picture says a thousand words” is kind of crap. Pictures can be posed and edited to look however you like. But only the people in the photo and taking the photo know how the photo shoot went, what was said, and their interpretations of the photo shoot may change over time.

summer coldMonday afternoon my throat was feeling a little sore, Tuesday I had a runny nose, chose super light weights for my sculpt class, and had a restless night tossing, turning, and not really breathing.

computerYesterday we had our computers updated, and I’ll save you from reading the texts that I sent my friend Emily, but let’s just say it didn’t go as planned….Which I should have expected.

What have you been up to this week?


Peace Perspective XXXI: Never Too Late

How soon do you plan things in advance? I find myself in the first week of August already having my weekends through October 5 planned. Oops! While I have weekends planned and wish I had a little free time to do as I please, I’m also starting to think of my 2015 goals.

Never Too Late I fully believe this statement. It is never too late to try, to start, or to do something new. I love the refreshing feeling of New Years (although I do hate New Years Eve). But I don’t think that refreshing feeling has to be limited to January 1.

We are in the last month of Summer, there is time to start healthy habits which can carry into the school year. Even for cold Minnesota there is still time to train for a race and complete it before the snow comes.

There is also time for second chances. Maybe you tried something this spring, or last year, and it didn’t go the way you wanted. That is okay. If the opportunity comes again, consider giving it a second try. You never know what might happen once you give it a chance.

What would you like to start, or re-start?

Run for the Dump 2014: Quarter Marathon

I didn’t talk about it much leading up to it, but last weekend was my hometown‘s annual Aitkin Riverboat Days celebration. Included in the weekend is the Run to the Dump, Minnesota’s Oldest Quarter Marathon.

run to the dump 2014I was up late Friday night visiting with friends who came up north for the weekend, they were game for running the next morning, so we made sure to get in bed before midnight. I was up at 6:15 so I could drink a cup of coffee, and we stopped by registration at 7 am. We hopped on the early bus and waited at the lake access before the race started.

Mile 1: My knees were mad, my feet were mad, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to finish the race.

Mile 2: Trail begins the soft ground was a welcome change.

Mid way- Jim’s water stop. The course goes through his property and he is sweet enough to provide water.

Mile 3: Trail becomes field, the sun starts to feel hot.

Mile 4: Wishing second water stop was still available, I think the cub scout got his directions wrong as he was at the 3 mile mark and I didn’t need water again yet.

Mile 5: Back on the road, body is in less pain than it was during Mile 1, but quads are starting to warn me of fatigue.

Mile 6: Almost there! Curious of time as I didn’t have watch or music.

Finish: 1:20:ish. Downed some water, and then headed home for breakfast, lake and bloody mary’s!


Twosday Sharing

Hello Friends! I’ll be back tomorrow with a race recap, but today I wanted to share two quick things with you.

2 Photos from my Instagram, which I then put together.

Riverboat Days Aitkin Run to the Dump2 Posts from Nora, who I can’t put into words, but here’s a portion of her about me section.

nora my husbands tumorHere is the first post, and here is the second.

What are two things you will be accomplishing this week? I’ll be doing a 5k on Saturday morning, and then attending a wedding!



Peace Perspective XXX: Stitched Together

Oh friends. July was not my month. I ended it with a bang, literally. I hit a deer, or a deer ran into front of my car, which ever way you want to look at it on the 30th. I was getting done with a meeting a little after 8, and once I drove home, took everything out of my car, drove my car into town and dropped it off at the body shop, drove back home and dinner was done cooking, it was 9:45 pm. I chugged a glass of wine and was in bed by 10 pm.

I also just looked back at my post from last week apparently I like to start all my Sunday posts with “oh friends”. Is this weird? Whatever, I’m not changing it. Onto the Peace Perspective!

Good Intentions Sewing Quote

I have a tendency of kicking myself and replaying conversations after I’ve had them. Especially if I didn’t get my point across clearly. This usually happens when I’m nervous or uncomfortable. I spit out some word vomit, and later realize I did not do or say the right thing. There is no going back and unsaying what I said. Or undoing what I did. Hopefully when this happens people realize that while the delivery may have been a jumbled mess, the intention was good.

Please tell me this happens to you, or you at least recognize that most people start with good intentions, even if their delivery isn’t perfect.


Bachelorette Party Planning Tips

Hola Friends! I hope you are having a fabulous Friday! We are in the height of wedding season which also means you may be attending or planning a bachelorette party soon! I came across this list from Cosmopolitan, and I must disagree with them. There is no need for 15 bullet points about bachelorette partying.

Bachelorette Party Planning listEarlier this summer I helped host a Bachelorette party for a dear friend and we had a “Swimming and Sundresses Weekend.” It was low key and a ton of fun! Also, because we were staying at my parents house, the price for each attendee was $25 which was to cover the cost of the wine tasting that we hired someone to do for us!

Bachelorette Wine Tasting#1. Champagne: Discuss with the Bride how much alcohol she wants during the party. Some Brides want all the booze in the world, some don’t. No judgement here, but its always good to know what the Bride wants.

#2. Humiliation: This includes but is not limited the plastic penis toys that can be purchased in the form of veils, straws, necklaces, whistles, whatever. Some Brides love them, some Brides leave them.

Bachelorette Lake Party#3. Activities: I am personally not a fan of “suck for a buck” or scavenger hunts, but I completely understand that some kind of game/event is needed to fill the time. We chose swimming, and later paddle boarding.

#4. Snacks and Water: I’m now at the age where hangovers are the worst, and the possibilities of someone being invited who is pregnant is good. Bring more snacks than you think you will need, leftovers are better than being desperately hungry for a snack.

Bachelorette Party Menu Idea#5. Music:Background music is a great way to loosen up the group, especially if there are people that don’t know each other well.

What do you like to include during bachelorette parties?

Like this? Check out my old post about being a Personal Attendant! I will be one once again this fall, so expect another non-bride wedding post soon!

July 2014 Recap

As per usual, the fourth of July seems like last week, but somehow tomorrow is August 1! I didn’t take a fireworks picture, but I did managed to get an amazing sunset photo on the 5th of July.

Serpent Lake Crosby MNThis month I was very focused on my first triathlon! I will have another one at the end of August so I plan on continuing my workouts, but knowing that I’ve completed one has been such a relief! You can see my posts on the open water swim, training, race plan, race recap, and what gear I recommend for beginners. (each word links to the corresponding post in case you missed it!)

Beginner Triathlon GearI still made time for friends and for wine with almond pairings, because I’m not a machine and summer is a great time to get together!

My peace perspectives continue, in those from this month you can tell that there have been plenty of hard days that weren’t documented on the blog, but this one may be the truest.

Jodi Picoult QuoteWhat page would you like to complete in August? I will be focusing on having a little more fun and a little less structure!