Skirt Sports ~ Beautiful New Tantrum and Safari Prints!

I am a Skirt Sports Ambassador, and I received these two items as part of my clothing allowance. 

Skirt Sports has just introduced some gorgeous new prints (tantrum and safari) for their Fall 2015 line, and I’m in love! :-) I probably have more running clothes than regular clothes, but with new prints coming out every season, it’s hard to keep it buying more!

Tantrum Print

I seriously could not wait for this print to come out after we got the first sneak peek. The older I get, the more I fall in love with bright colors and patterns, and the tantrum print definitely fits the bill. I liked it so much that I ordered the Redemption Capri AND the Go Longer Short in tantrum. The print is full of blue, yellow, black, aqua, and pink. It’s so versatile, because you could pair it with almost any color top! In addition to the Redemption Capri and Go Longer Short, you can pick up the tantrum print on the Gym Girl Ultra, Jette Capri Skirt, Jette Skirt, and Tough Girl Skirt.

Safari Print

Who doesn’t love some animal print to spice things up once in a while? 😉 The safari print is a vibrant turquoise with black zebra stripes. It’s currently available on the Go Longer Short, Gym Girl Ultra, Redemption Capri, Lioness Skirt, and the Lotta Breeze Capri.

Skirt Sports Lioness Skirt Safari Print

Go Longer Short

I have been wearing Skirt Sports for years, but this past order is the first time I have tried the Go Longer Short. It’s a GREAT option for shorts if you’re looking to add some variety to your running skirt wardrobe! I am 5′ 4″ and found the shorts to be the perfect length.

I am all set wearing shorts that leave nothing to the imagination, so these were perfect. They didn’t ride up on hot and humid runs, and I love that the drawstring is one long, continuous piece, so you don’t have to worry about it coming out in the wash. The waistband is wide, so there’s not chafing and it stays in the right place. I will definitely be ordering another pair of the Go Longer shorts!

Skirt Sports Go Longer Short in Tantrum

Redemption Capri

This was also the first time I bought a pair of the Redemption Capris (can you tell I pretty much live in running skirts?!). The Redemption Capris are very flattering and are made of lightly compressive fabric to keep your legs feeling good on the run. They yoke-style waistband is comfortable on long runs and also has the continuous drawstring. Other features include a 5 inch zipper pocket in the back, reflective elements, and UPF 50 sun protective fabric.

Skirt Sports Redemption Capri in Tantrum

Skirt Sports Discount Code

If you would like to grab these prints for yourself (or any other prints for that matter!), you can use the code “SSSMR20″ for 20% off your order. There are always different prints on sale, and Skirt Sports offers $5 flat rate shipping (they ship super fast, so you won’t have to wait long!). You can visit their website HERE.

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Pearl Izumi EM N2 v2 Trail Shoe Review

Pearl Izumi EM N2 v2 Women's Trail Shoe

Overview

These shoes couldn’t have arrived at a better time (they magically appeared on my doorstep–seriously I have no idea why they were sent to me!), just as I’m getting back into some trail miles. The Pearl Izumi EM Trail N2 v2 is a lighter weight trail shoe, but don’t let its lack of weight deceive you! This 9 oz. trail shoe has many of the features you look for in a go-to running shoe for your hard trail miles.

Heel to Toe Offset

One of the features I really like about this shoe is the 4mm heel-toe drop. I have gotten used to running in lower drop shoes, and I really like it, so I’m happy to have a trail shoe that accommodates this feature. The importance of a lower drop seems to have faded somewhat, but I’m still a believer!

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Weight

One of the things I like most about this shoe is that it is only 9 oz, so you get all of the features and protections of a trail shoe without extra bulk. Saving a few ounces can make a huge difference over miles and miles! :-) This may be one of the reasons it won Trail Runner Gear of the Year, 2013 Trail Shoe of the Year.

Heel Support Features

The Pearl Izumi EM N2 v2 trail shoe has a slightly rounded heel and a good heel cup to keep your foot nice and stable on uneven terrain. I think the women-specific fit also makes a difference–it’s nice to have a shoe designed specifically for a women’s foot. One thing I did notice though is that when I put my orthotics in the Pearl Izumi trail shoes my heel feels like it’s just at the outer limits of sliding out, so keep that in mind if you wear orthotics.

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Overall Impressions

Overall, I think that the Pearl Izumi EM N2 v2 is a great lightweight trail shoe to add to your arsenal. It has good cushioning, heel support, a rock plate, and other nice features without being too heavy on your foot. You can check out more details on the shoe HERE. I typically wear an 8.5 in running shoes, and that’s what fit best in this shoe.

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ZOOMA Cape Cod Training ~ Join Us for a Long Run!

ZOOMA Cape Cod

ZOOMA Cape Cod is Two Months Away!

It’s hard to believe that ZOOMA Cape Cod is only 2 months away! Whether you are running the 10k or half marathon, now is the time to start getting serious about your training. 😉 I have started increasing my long runs, though I’m still on the fence about the 10k vs. half marathon. I’ve never actually run a 10k, and there aren’t that many of them anymore, so I am quite tempted! Regardless, I am working on a solid long run base, so I will for either race.

Join Me for a 10-mile or 5-mile Training Run on September 12

This year, there will be two training runs for ZOOMA Cape Cod– one in Falmouth and one in the Boston area. Fellow ambassador Nancy Capen and I will be hosting a 5-mile and 10-mile training run at the Sea Crest (start and finish of both races) on September 12 at 7:15 a.m. You can find all the details and RSVP HERE. You will also find details for the Boston training run there (hosted by Ambassador Dani!).

Have You Registered for ZOOMA Cape Cod 2015 Yet?

If you haven’t registered yet for the ZOOMA Cape Cod 10k/Half Marathon on September 26, click HERE to register and use the code “JESSICAM15″ for 10% off either race. Fall is a BEAUTIFUL time of year to race on the Cape, so come join us!

 

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Cape Cod Baseball League ~ Fun for the Whole Family!

Last weekend, we headed to a Cape Cod Baseball League game with my alumni club (go Holy Cross!) in Hyannis, MA. I used to go to the Cape Cod Baseball League games as a child to root for our home team– the Falmouth Commodores. I’m embarrassed to admit that 3 boys in, I haven’t taken my kids to one yet! That all changed last Sunday evening when we saw the Hyannis Harbor Hawks play the Falmouth Commodores.

The Cape Cod HC alumni group had the VIP box and some nice other perks that we got to take advantage of, including the opportunity for the boys to throw out the first pitch! They were so excited, and I love that the Hyannis Harbor Hawks had one player to catch for each child (there were 5 total). The boys loved it, and loved getting their souvenir ball to take home.

First Pitch

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For those that are unfamiliar with the Cape Cod Baseball League, it’s long been a hotbed for college baseball talent. Many of the athletes that play Cape Cod ball go on to play in the majors. In fact, you will see A LOT of scouts at each game– taking notes and checking the speeds of pitches with their radar guns.

Baseball Scout

We made it through about 5 innings and then packed it in for the 40 minute drive home. I can’t say enough about how family friendly Cape Cod Baseball league is. I would HIGHLY recommend it if you visit the Cape and want to take the kids to see GREAT baseball. The players are always really good with kids, signing balls and interacting with them too. You can check out the remainder of the CCBL schedule HERE.

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YayLabs SoftShell Ice Cream Ball ~ Making Stonyfield Frozen Yogurt!

I am a Stonyfield Ambassador, and as such, received coupons for Stonyfield Yogurt and a YayLab SoftShell Ice Cream Ball for use in the following post. All opinions and writing are 100% my own. 

The kids have been out of school for a few weeks now, so when a little boredom and hot weather combined, we pulled out our YayLab SoftShell Ice Cream Ball and decided to make some homemade frozen yogurt. I had never used an ice cream ball before, so I was a complete novice in the whole ordeal. Luckily, it’s pretty straightforward and the instruction booklet told me everything I needed to know!

yaylabs sofshell ice cream ball

The ball has two different openings on the top and bottom, one for the ice and rock salt and one for the ice cream (or yogurt) ingredients. We decided to keep it simple and do strawberry frozen yogurt using only the Stonyfield Low-fat Strawberry Yogurt.

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We put in the required amount of yogurt, resealed the opening, and then flipped it over and added the ice and salt. We used kosher salt, since I couldn’t find rock salt in the grocery store (it’s where the regular salt is located). If you use kosher salt, you will need to add an extra 1/4 cup.

The boys and I headed outside to roll the ball around for about 20 minutes. The time that you need to roll depends on the ingredients you use i.e. soy milk, yogurt, cream, etc. I would HIGHLY recommend rolling it outside in case of any potential leaks. We didn’t have any, but I err on the side of caution. :-) The boys managed to keep it going for the whole time period and then rushed in to check on the finished product.

When you open the container, you will see the ice cream (or frozen yogurt) is stuck to the outer walls of the cylinder. You will need to scrape it off with a wooden spoon or other utensil. Although you’re not really supposed to use a metal knife, I resorted to doing so, because I had trouble dislodging it from the sides.

Overall, the boys loved the process of making the frozen yogurt, and it kept them busy for quite a while! I would definitely recommend the YayLabs SoftShell Ice Cream Ball for a fun summer activity to keep the kids moving, with a sweet treat for a reward! :-)

 

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Touch Brewer Review (with a SUPER AWESOME giveaway!)

30 Something Mother Runner was provided with a Touch T526S Brewing System and samples of L.A. Coffee XBOLD cups for the purpose of this review. All opinions and writing are 100% my own. 

I love coffee, like I REALLY love coffee (if you do too, make sure you scroll all the way to the end of the post for an AWESOME giveaway!). It’s pretty much my lifeblood, since I am charged with caring for 3 VERY active boys on a daily basis. Every morning that sound of the coffee maker is music to my tired ears. I was recently approached to test out a brand-new automatic coffee brewer- the Touch T526S and samples of L.A. Coffee XBOLD cups.

Touch 526S Brewer

Super Fast Heating and Auto Shutoff

I like my coffee super hot and super fast, and this was one of the first things that attracted me to the Touch brewing system. It takes about 30 seconds for the water to heat up after being turned off overnight (it also turns off automatically when not in use, so it saves electricity!).

Carafe and Extra Large Reservoir

One of my other favorite features is the ability to brew a carafe of coffee the same way I would brew a single cup. The T526S comes with its own carafe, so  you can brew a pot of coffee in 3 minutes! There are 8 different cup settings: 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 oz. and Carafe.

There is an extra-large reservoir (90 oz), so you don’t have to refill the tank as often as with other machines. Along with the brewer, I received samples of L.A. Coffee. While the Touch brewing system is compatible with all K-cups, the sample of L.A. Coffee XBOLD cups were delicious! Containing 30% more coffee than the traditional K-cup, I got a nice, strong, robust cup of coffee= WIN!

L.A. Coffee XBOLD cups

If you would like to purchase your own Touch 526S, you can find it on Amazon and HomeDepot.comTouch has graciously allowed me to give away a Touch T5265 Brewing System and L.A. Coffee XBOLD cup samples to one lucky reader! It’s Christmas in July here on 30 Something Mother Runner! 😉 Just follow the instructions below to enter the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Filling a New Prescription for Exercise

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I switched doctors last month, and last week I went to meet with my new internal medicine physician for the first time. I had heard good things about this doctor, and I have to say it felt like home when I walked into the office and read her mission statement. I can’t recall exactly what the quote was, but it stated her focus on preventative medicine and self-care through physical activity and diet.

There are times when prescriptions are definitely needed, but we can also cure a lot of ailments through a healthy diet and daily physical activity. I know this from first hand knowledge and from the many people I have connected with through this blog.

For those that are unaware, I started taking Zoloft when I was pregnant with my first son about 8 years ago. I had tried various anti-depressants at various times, but Zoloft was the most well-studied and widely used during pregnancy and nursing. Having dealt with bouts of depression, I had a serious fear of postpartum depression. Thankfully I did not suffer from it, but it was more the anxiety that did me in after having my first baby.

Fighting the lack of sleep that accompanies a new baby (and the fact that I had a human being relying on me for everything) left me feeling strung out at the end of the day. I felt like I would bounce around from task to task trying to get things done around the house like I used to, and worried that I wasn’t keeping up. An increase in the Zoloft helped quell those feelings, but over the years, I have realized it isn’t doing much for me anymore. Running makes me feel just as good, without the accompanying side effects.

I had a long talk with the doctor and she made me face the music– DAILY physical activity is mandatory for my mental health. I have been running a few times a week, but less than I have in the past, and my brain is feeling it! My doctor told me exactly what I needed to hear–I had to find a way to get in a daily run (or other workout), no ands ifs or buts. Together we decided that we are going to VERY gradually decrease the Zoloft while I continue running daily. I am hoping that by the fall, I will be off the medication and feeling fine.

The timing feels right, and I feel relieved knowing that I will be getting my daily meds in the form of a run from now on. I am totally okay with the fact that I may have to go back on something again, but right now I’m feeling really good about the whole situation! I’m glad that I have a supportive doctor who “gets”  me and understands the (powerful) positive mental effects of physical activity. It was nice leaving the office with a prescription for blood work AND a prescription for exercise. :-)

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Tips for Natural Mosquito Control this Summer!

Tips for Natural Mosquito Control

Since having kids, I have definitely jumped on the more natural pest control bandwagon. I know that sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures, and DEET must be used. However, when it is at all possible to avoid it, I do. If I have to use DEET, I will spray it on their clothing. I thought it might be helpful for my readers to share some of the natural mosquito control remedies we like to use in our household, and I would love to hear methods you use!

  • In the evenings, make sure your little ones are covered up as much as possible. I know this is kind of common sense, but you know what? It works! :-) I will have them put on pants and a long sleeve shirt if temps allow.
  • Use mosquito netting for strollers and play yards. We got a mosquito net for our Quinny Buzz, and it was the BEST investment for summer time strolling, especially if you need to walk your baby outside to settle him/her down.
  • Use products that contain natural plant-based oils that repel mosquitoes and other pests. We recently tried the Stinger Mosquito Repellent Lantern and LOVE it! It has a fan-dispersed repellent pad and is safe for kids and pets. I like that it’s attractive looking for the table and has a light (blue LED) too! It runs on 4 AA batteries (included). You can visit the Stinger website or purchase on Amazon. :-)
  • Make sure you don’t have any areas of standing water. Standing water is prime breeding grounds for mosquitos!
  • If you have a garden or flower beds, plant marigolds! Flying insects are deterred by the scent of marigolds, plus they look nice!
  • Install bat houses— yes, houses for bats! Bats can eat up to 500-1,000 mosquitos each night!

Do you have any natural mosquito control methods to share? 

30 Something Mother Runner received a Stinger Mosquito Repellent Lantern. All opinions and writing are 100% my own. 

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Janji Running Apparel Review- Run for Another (With a Discount Code!)

I remember the first time I saw the Janji brand (based in Brookline, MA) — I was working a booth for ZOOMA Cape Cod, and they were set up right across the way. After hearing the story of this socially conscious brand, I fell in love. Their motto – Run for Another- reflects their mission to provide clean water for those that need it most.

Janji Ethiopia Ombre Running ShirtJanji Ethiopia Ombre Running Shirt

“Janji” means “promise” in Malay, and the companies promise is to help alleviate the water crisis in many countries. There are over 700 million people in the world who do not have access to clean water. Each time you purchase a Janji piece, a portion of the proceeds goes to providing clean water for those in developing countries through various non-profit organizations like Water.org.

Janji works to provide clean water in the following countries (which have accompanying apparel lines): Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Kenya, Peru, Rwanda, Tanzania, and some locations in the United States.

There are so many great looking running shirts, shorts, and accessories in the Janji collection— all reflecting the vibrant colors of the nations for which they help to provide water. I chose to review the women’s Ethiopia Ombre shirt because I fell in love with colors and the fact that the purchase of each shirt provides a year of clean drinking water to a person in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia Ombre Running Shirt

Janji has generously provided me with a discount to share with my readers– you can use the code “Jessica Morrison” for 20% off any order, and use “jmorrison” for 30% off Women’s Ethiopia Ombre Shirt. You even get FREE SHIPPING on orders over $45. So go shopping for new running gear and help provide others with clean drinking water– it’s a WIN-WIN. :-)

30 Something Mother Runner received a Women’s Ethiopia Ombre Shirt to facilitate this review. All writing and opinions are 100% my own. 

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ZOOMA Cape Cod 2015 Training Kickoff

ZOOMA Ambassador 2015

ZOOMA Cape Cod 2015 is just a few months away and time to start training if you haven’t already! I have been doing my long runs, but ready to take my half marathon training and kick it into high gear. :-) ZOOMA is hosting a training kick-off hosted by my awesome friend and fellow blogger Nancy. It will be on Thursday, July 9 at 6:00 p.m. at Marathon Sports in Yarmouth (484 Station Avenue). The group run will start at 6:15 p.m.

In addition to running with some cool peeps, there will be a registration discount code (you can always use JESSICAM15 for 10% off your race entry) and raffle prizes. If you would like to attend the training kick-off, please click HERE to RSVP, so they know how many people to expect. :-)

30 Something Mother Runner is a ZOOMA Cape Cod 2015 Ambassador. 

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