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Showing posts from February, 2011

Would you have Quit?

It's no secret that I am on a workout mission. I try hard not to miss a workout, and for the most part I don't. But when is it okay to quit?

Last week, our family was horrendously sick. My children were up coughing all night, and I didn't get much sleep. Sleep isn't something I give up willingly, and when I miss it, things go south pretty quickly. I started to feel extra stressed, and things started to get fuzzy.

Before I knew it I couldn't see out of my right eye. So what did I do? Like any mom, I kept going. I kept cooking, cleaning, fighting over homework, reading bedtime stories. Same old, same old. Just painfully slow, and with only one eye. As you may have guessed, my head also ached like crazy.

Upon reading my fitness journal, my sister said, "whoa, you had a migraine." That I did. The second in my life - again involving blindness and a head pain I can't explain. Okay, but why was she reading it in my fitness journal?

Because I keep a log of ev…

Mega Bloks Domino Build Game

My kids love to play games. The problem is: we've played all of OUR games a zillion times. So when new games come out, we love to give them a shot.

Mega Games just came out with a new game called Mega Bloks Domino Build. My kids were really excited for the game. They loved the animals, the colors, and the fact that it came with blocks.

And then we played the game. As you may have guessed, the game is a combination of dominoes and building. The problem is - it's not very challenging. There's almost no way to lose.

For that reason, I'd say this is a great game to play with 2 and 3 year-olds. We all know that 3 year-olds are irrational when it comes to losing, so this game would be both easy enough for them to understand and provide a win-win situation.

It's also nice for the kids to have something to "hold" during the game. Each player gets their own set of blocks to "own" and build. But again, the building only consists of 4 pieces and the game i…

Pirose Review - Reno Rose Decorative Scarves

You can make a big statement with just a simple scarf. It can really draw attention to your outfit and make an "old" outfit new again! But, I think most women would agree that they are intimated by scarves.

How do you wear them? How do you tie them? And on and on. You know what, it doesn't have to be that tough.

I recently reviewed the Pirose scarf from Reno Rose and they take all the guesswork out of wearing scarves!

The scarf I ordered came with it's own (matching!) carrying bag and the most handy scarf guide I have ever seen. The guide shows you how to wear the scarf in 12 super simple ways. The pirose scarf is different from your average scarf because there is a hole in the center; allowing you to wear it in all sorts of cool ways.

I tried all of them, and they all worked out great. My only critique: I'd add 2 or 3 ways to wear the scarf on your head or in your hair (as a hair wrap or headband.)

The color selection is great. The fabrics drape beautifully.

I&…

Kobo Wireless eReader Giveaway!

If someone would have told me that I'd enjoy reading books on a handheld device, I would have laughed in their face! In fact, I remember quite a bit of eye-rolling when my good friend raved about her Kindle. Just another excuse to be "stuck in a screen," is what I thought.

But then I had the chance to review the Kobo eReader. I thought it might be a great way to catch up on reading while on the treadmill. I was wrong.

For walking, yes. For running, there has to be music. Sorry, but it's the truth.

The Kobo eReader is meant for reading. And that is where it shines!! I've read a lot about eReaders online and there are so many debates on screen sizes, pixels, color/non-color, wi-fi, and all sorts of bells and whistles.

If you love to read books, forget about all that nonsense. The Kobo comes with 100 pre-loaded books and can store up to 1000. You read that right, ONE THOUSAND!

As a clutter-hating, book reader - I love this!!! But let's get down to how this prod…

A few Tips for performing a Wall squat

If you've ever watched The Biggest Loser, then you've definitely seen them doing a "Wall Sit." Also called a Wall Squat. Even after watching TBL for years, I'd never attempted a wall sit until last week. What?? It's a solid move, but I had my own routine.

What can I say? Well, I tried it for the first time and made some unbelievable errors. I'm going to share with you those errors so that you're first Wall Sit will be a success. Wondering what I'm talking about?

Tip #1 - Do your Wall Sits FIRST. Not only will your muscles be stronger and last longer during the sit, but there's one other huge benefit. I did my Wall Sit after running sprints. Then I plastered my backed to the wall and a few minutes later - I had a wet, sweat-stained wall! Don't let this happen to you!

Tip #2 - Choose your music wisely. You'll be "sitting" there as long as you can - maybe minutes. Do you want to spend 2 minutes listening to Kenny G? Or...will …

Who's Shopping at Thrift Stores?

My son came home with a flyer announcing that his class was going to have an "early 1900's" day. The children were given a list of acceptable clothing and lunch options. For boys: BIB OVERALLS! Seriously? I know it was the rage in the early 1900's, but I don't think I've seen a boy over the age of 12 months wearing overalls. Unless their hunting or something. Sheesh.

Being a frugal mom, I didn't want to buy brand new overalls at the sporting good store so I thought I'd step out into the thrift store world and see what we could find.

Now, I've been to thrift stores before and I've never been impressed. They're usually in iffy neighborhoods, smell like an old lady's house, and have outrageous prices. This time was no different.

As soon as we drove into the area, my son announced that he was NOT getting out. "We shouldn't be in a place like this without Dad," he said. Before you get all snippy, you know what he means. Even …

Invisible Hoarding

If you're a typical hoarder, chances are you know you have a problem. But what if you're an invisible hoarder? You know the type...hundreds (thousands?) of saved emails. Entire libraries of free e-books.

Too many apps and games on your smart phone. A gazillion texts. Endless online recipes you've collected, blog post ideas, to-do lists, contact information, webpage bookmarks? Cluttered readers, too many email subscriptions, too many email accounts, waaaaay too many facebook friends.

Is your online life as cluttered as your regular life? Or more so? Take a second and review your online "space" then cut some of it loose. You'll feel so much better and may even be more efficient.

How to Make Your Own X-Large Cat Litter Box

There comes a time in every cat owner's life when your little baby goes from this:



To This:

And when that happens, you're bound to need a bigger litter box. If you're like me, you've searched the internet and all the stores looking for an XL litter box. The truth is, most XL litter boxes are just barely bigger than a normal litter box. And all of them are expensive. Yes, $19-$40 may not be all that much for a litter box but for what it is (plastic box)... it's outrageous.

So why not make your own. There are plenty of videos on youtube showing how to make a litter an enclosed litterbox using a large Rubbermaid storage container. But for anyone that has to actually clean a litter box, you know that enclosed boxes have "issues." Plus, there are aesthetic reasons why you may not want and enclosed behemoth.

And I'm guessing you want it to be simple, right? Me too. When our kitty started to outgrow her litter box, I went on the hunt and came up with the easi…

Tropical Traditions Organic Coconut Flour Review & Giveaway

If you've limited the amount of processed foods that you eat, than chances are you've limited the amount of corn and soy in your diet considerably. Congratulations! But what about wheat? I find myself using wheat and wheat related products quite often. Not that there's anything wrong with wheat, but still....variety is the spice of life, right?
So I've been experimenting with different flour options. Recently, I had the good fortune to try Tropical Traditions Organic Coconut Flour.  The first thing I wanted to make was waffles. I've already been using Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil in most of our baked goods (like waffles, pancakes, brownies) so I was excited to try Coconut Flour instead of wheat.
According to Tropical Traditions' website, you can substitute 10-30% of grain flours with coconut flour, and up to 100% with muffins and quick breads. 
I decided that waffles were quick breads and quickly made mine with 100% coconut flour. Well...not so quickly. Here…

The Hunt for a Great Hot Dog (or Bratwurst)

Years ago, when hot dogs would go on sale, I'd stock up. I'd get package upon package of FREE or extremely low cost hot dogs. Then, I got smart(er) and stopped buying hot dogs all together. It was hard to pass up the great deals, but I knew our health was worth more than a few dollars saved on cheap hot dogs.

This week we had weather in the 40s and let me tell you, it was amazing. Visions of gardening strobed through my head, and my husband even volunteered to fire up the grill. Then he asked if we had any brats or hot dogs. Um....no.

And so the hunt has begun. My usual grocery store started carrying Applegate Farms and Thousand Hills products, so I got excited. Nothing. I've bought nitrate/nitrite free bacon and sausages at Target, so I was hopeful. Nothing.

Our local Trader Joes' meat section is really small, so I'm not even going. Okay, fine... I'm going, but I'm not expecting to find Brats or hotdogs that meet my standards. That means... no nitrates, n…

Green Giant Giveaway!

If you're looking to improve your health this year, then vegetables are definitely going to play an important role! If you're rolling your eyes, then you probably haven't been making them right. Veggies cooked the right way are tasty and filling.

To make it easier, Green Giant Vegetables come in quick, easy-to-prepare varieties that make adding veggeis to your meal a snap. Twenty-nine varieties are endorsed by Weight Watchers®, and most have only a 1 or 2 PointsPlus® value per serving!

But you know it doesn't stop there! MyBlogSpark and Green Giant would like to offer one Suburban Jungle reader the chance to win a Green Giant prize package.

What's included:

A VIP coupon good for (1) Free Green Giant Frozen VegetableAn insulated tote bagServing bowl Serving SpoonPedometer To Enter: Leave a comment sharing your favorite way to prepare Green Giant Boxed Vegetables. Do you serve them right out of the box (lol) or do you dress them up a little? Please share.
Extra Entries…

b-Dazzle Review

Looking for away to draw attention to your eyes? To make them stand out and Sparkle? I'm always looking for something like this and recently had the chance to review b-Dazzle by Giella.
What is b-Dazzle? It's a product made with 7 mineral ingredients that brings "dazzle" to your eyes. It's used by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and renowned makeup artists like Mario Dedivanovic. And now it's used by me (and you?)
It's really quite simple to use and a little goes a long way. When I first received the shadow and read the instructions, I wasn't so sure about it. It came in a really little pot and said it was for "all skin types". 
I couldn't imagine someone with dark skin wearing such a light color and I thought the little pot would run out right away. Well, I'm happy to report that I was wrong! 
A little goes a long way and this pot will last for months. And when you put the color on, it's more of a shimmery gold than peach/nude.…

How the BackFloat Cost me Hundreds of Dollars!

Teaching kids to swim well is a hot topic for me. My younger sister nearly drowned when she was 18 months old, and I dragged her struggling body from the pool. 
It was about that same time that I stopped taking swim lessons. Because I couldn't "dive" not because of my sister's drowning. But the two events forever changed how I feel about swimming. #1 - Parents should always be on alert around water and #2 - It's important to teach kids to swim WELL.
Since I couldn't dive, I couldn't progress to the next level. I tried once more, and then my parents decided I was done. So my swimming ability stayed at that level forever (or at least until I start a swimming class next fall - woo!)
So imagine my frustration when my children proved to be marginal swimmers. I took them swimming every week when they were babies and toddlers. I signed them up for lessons as soon as they were old enough to be in a class on their own.
And each time, they kept having to repeat th…

CheapesTees.com Review

When it comes to T-shirts, I'm sorry but cheaper is better. I am a big fan of layering and when you start putting on 2-3 shirts, cost and thickness really matter.

I was super excited to review CheapesTees.com and have a chance to try some of their T-shirts (and yoga pants!)  Their slogan is "The Lowest-Priced, Name Brand T-Shirts On Earth!"

Click over and see for yourself, but the T-shirts I selected were super value priced. My favorite was this 2-toned green T-shirt that sells for $6.94!

If you know me in real life, then you know this shirt is SO me, and not just because it's green. But even the price is SO me.

They have long sleeved shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, yoga pants (yay!), tank tops, and T-shirts for everyone in the family. They have womens, mens, kids, and even special order group items.

So what did I think of CheapesTees.com? Well, it's hard to get over the awesome pricing. I buy lots of layering items (like T-shirts) and CheapesTees.com has a great p…

I want to be on The Biggest Loser!

"I want to be on The Biggest Loser!" That's what my son yelled to me during last week's episode. Touché! In all reality, I couldn't agree more. But The Biggest Loser is a touchy topic in my home. It is my all time favorite show, but up until last week my children were banned from watching it.

It used to be the only show I watched on television and since it aired at 7pm, I let my kids watch it with me. I didn't think twice when they'd announce to people that "soda makes you fat" and "you shouldn't eat THAT!" It was kind of cute. And after all, they were right.

But a little while back, my daughter jumped on our bathroom scale and said "mom, how much did I lose?" And that was the beginning of the end. My kids see me workout and they know I pay attention to what I eat. No mindless ice cream binges here. But I NEVER mention weight or say I need to lose anything.

I never say "I'm fat" or complain about body issues…

Yoplait Smoothies Fitness Kit Review and Giveaway

Seven out of every Ten Americans do not get the recommended 2 to 4 servings of fruit per day. Wow! But really, 2 to 4 servings is what's recommended? I'm shocked on both accounts. One super easy way to get more fruit (and yummy yogurt) into your diet is to use Yoplait's frozen smoothie mixes.

Check out the awesome flavor options:

Blueberry PomegranateTriple BerryStrawberry BananaStrawberry Mango Pineapple All of these flavors sound great to me! I love everything berry and the Triple Berry is amazing! Even my husband, who isn't a huge berry fan (I know, what??) loves the Triple Berry smoothie.
To help you get more fruit in your day, MyBlogSpark and Yoplait are offering one Suburban Jungle reader the chance to win a Yoplait Smoothies Fitness Kit (pictured above).
The kit includes: a VIP coupon to try Yoplait Frozen Smoothies for free, Drawstring backpack, Water Bottle, and Fitness Journal.
To Enter: Leave a comment telling me how you plan to incorporate smoothies into you…

HappyMe Skincare Review

As a women, I've tried all sorts of skincare products. Just ask my sink!! I love trying to products and every once in a while I find one that I never want to trade out.

This month, I had the chance to review the new products from HappyMe Skincare.

I tried out their Anti-aging line which includes: Neck & Chest repair with SPF 30, Hand repair with SPF 30, and Pore & Fine Line Perfecter and Primer.

From the get go, it's important to let you know that all of these products are made from natural ingredients. They do not contain parabens, sulfates, or artificial dyes. Yay!

I tried the Neck & Chest Repair and Hand Repair lotions first. They went on thick and seemed to work fine as lotions. I don't have a lot of issues in those areas yet, so I didn't really notice any difference.

Both products have a very strong scent. I'd say it's like licorice. So if you are sensitive to smells, you may want to keep this in mind when selecting them.

I wasn't quite su…

Arbonne Essentials Review

The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.
Ever wonder what's IN your vitamins? I've always wondered about vitamins. Where did they come from? How were they produced? And are they even healthy? I'd like to think that we can get most of our nutritional needs by eating a healthy diet. As true as that might be, we live in a very stressful and polluted world. Chances are, we may need a little help (nutritionally.)

Arbonne just launched their new Essentials line of vegan certified products tailored to meet individual people's needs. Their products are formulated without artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, gluten, cholesterol, saturated fats, trans fats, animal products, or animal by-products! 

This really peaked my interest because I had never seen these type of supplements made soley from botanical products. 


Here are a few of the products I had the chance to try:

Protein Shakes
These were available in both chocolate and vanilla. Arbonne Es…

KitchenAid 3-speed Blender and Yoplait Smoothie Review & Giveaway

You have to admit, smoothies are pretty awesome. I like them because they're a yummy mix of nutritious ingredients, but I also LOVE them because it's a great way to get my family to eat a wide variety of fruits and veggies.

There are a ton of ways to make a good smoothie, but the easiest way is to use a prepackaged Smoothie mix like the Yoplait Frozen Smoothie Mixes.

In celebration of the new Blueberry Pomegranate flavor, Yoplait and KitchenAid are offering one Suburban Jungle reader the chance to win: 1 coupon for a free Yoplait frozen smoothie and a 3-speed KitchenAid blender.


Since you'll have the smoothie mix AND the blender, there's no excuse not to make some blueberry goodness. I got the chance to try both of these goodies out before offering one to you. If you guessed that the smoothie was fantastic, then you'd be right. My family loved it. It was so easy to make and so delicious. How can you go wrong with blueberries or pomegranate? Really...but the super …

Keep Your New Year's Resolutions - Get Fit and Be Environmentally Conscious with SilverSport

So you're going to get fit this year, right? Maybe you're even going to be more environmentally conscious! Double yay!SilverSport may make keeping your resolutions easier!

Sweating in the gym is pretty awesome. Smelling the gym afterwards - not so awesome. Even yours truly leaves an unpleasant amount of sweat and stink in our home gym on most days.

I don't even want to bring up what a gym towel smells like; I'm sure you already have an idea.... It's an issue, right? I had the chance to review the Silver Towel from Silversport and it has made a world of difference (in the smell category).

I was sent two sliver towels. The 20"x30" towel is meant for sweat management and the 20"x60" towel is meant for serious drying. So I took the 20"x30" towel to the gym and put the 20"x60" in my bathroom.

The towels are both really soft, and surprisingly absorbent. They are made of bamboo and are thin and easy to pack. They really do not take…

Love Crunch by Nature's Path Organic

It's almost Valentine's day, and for me that means two things: Berries and Chocolate! For a limited time, you can have them both in Love Crunch. Nature's Path and Whole Foods Market have teamed up to bring this exclusive, one-of-a-kind cereal to you.

Love Crunch was created to celebrate love and help those in need. The couple that created the cereal, made it as a favor at their wedding and asked their guests to volunteer in the community.

With every box that is sold, $1 is donated to the Whole Planet Foundation to help women lift themselves out of poverty.

But the best part (in my opinion) is the yummy organic goodness inside this box. Imagine chocolaty flax and granola, chunks of dark chocolate, strawberries, coconut and raspberries. Yep, that's why I loved it. Every bite is loaded with chocolate. The chunks of chocolate are so good (not plastic tasting as they sometimes are in cereal) and there are berries!

My only complaint: I wish there were more berries. My ideal…

Cheribundi Review

We all know how powerful antioxidants can be, and most of us have tried some of the yummy options available. I know I love to drink/eat pomegranates, blueberries, coconut....


But have you ever thought about Cherries? I start to see cherries in the grocery store around this time, and I can't resist them. Talk about yum!


What about cherry juice? I'd never seen it until I had the chance to review Cheribundi's Tru cherry Tart Cherry Juice.


Let's go beyond the taste (it was yummy!!) and see why someone might want to drink Cherry Juice.

According to Cheribundi's website, each 8oz bottle of juice contains 50 cherries. Wahoo! Just the idea of 50 cherries is enough for me, but not everyone likes to eat whole fruit. For those of you that do or don't like to eat cherries, you'll get a whole lot of cherries in each bottle.


And each cherry is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and all around good taste.

If you head to the Cheribundi website, you'll find all sor…