Michigan Awesome

I love being from Michigan. Born and raised, you could say I am ‘Smitten with the Mitten’. So whenever I find awesome ways to show off and celebrate my home state pride, I jump on board!

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I discovered this amazing retailer, bursting with Michigan love a few years ago — perhaps it was the named that peeked my initial interest…  I promptly swooped up a few t-shirts for myself, my husband and a few friends. Since my purchase a few year’s back, Michigan Awesome has expanded their stock and offer a wide variety cleverly phrased apparel for men, women, kids and babies. In addition to what is soon to be your new favorite t-shirt or hoodie, you can also score prints, drinkware, totes, stickers and even… a cycling jersey!
Pssst…. KEEP READING FOR A DISCOUNT CODE!

Here are a few of my favorites:

Again, this is only a sampling of their clever slogans. Check out their website for more, including city / region specific shout outs like “Cherry Empire” and “Saginawesome”.

(Is it bad that I kind of want to own everything?)

If you are from Michigan, or simply know someone who calls “the hand” their home, you need to check out Michigan Awesome. These items make great gifts for the Michigan-lover and are just plain fun.

More about Michigan Awesome from Dave Ornée, Operations Manager
Michigan Awesome
is a celebration of state pride and hometown love. We know from experience that people who leave Michigan miss it, and the people who live here love it; you might even say they’re Smitten With The Mitten! Our products (apparel, drinkware, accessories, and more) are available in retail stores across the state and online at michiganawesome.com. We’re proud to be based in Michigan, and we encourage Michiganders around the world to celebrate the Land Shaped Like A Hand.

Enjoy discount code “InsistOnAwesome” for 15% off all orders!

Valid June 16th through midnight on Sunday the 22nd

Don’t forget to stay updated on other discounts, contests, new products etc…
Check out Michigan Awesome on:

 

Rubbermaid Lunch Blox Salad Kit

I have been kind of a salad-aholic lately. I can’t seem to get enough of all of the awesome produce available right now and love creating my own “salad art” for lunch. I might even dare to say that I find chopping up my fruits and veggies somewhat therapeutic — mind you, this is the only ‘cooking’ that I do…

I am in love with this little contraption from Rubbermaid that allows me to compartmentalize my salad ingredients so that they remain seperate until that glorious moment at lunch when they combine for yummy awesome delightful “salad art”.

The Rubbermaid Lunch Blox Salad Kit is the bee’s knees, people.
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This handy dandy salad kit is designed to build and transport your salad, your dressing and your toppings all in one kit! The base is the perfect portion size for lunch salad and the top tray allows you to hold toppings like cheese, nuts, fruit, etc… There is even a small dressing container with lid to keep your dressing seperate to make sure your salad remains fresh. The kit comes with a snap on Blue Ice Block that keeps you salad cold for up to four hours in a lunch bag (however, I have had this salad kit for over a year and have NO IDEA where I put that ice block).

All of the pieces fit together and keep your favorite lunch ingredients fresh, without awkwardly touching one another, until the are supposed to. The containers are super durable and leak-proof, as well as microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe.

Honestly, this little salad savior is the best. If you like to pack salads for lunch, I highly recommend grabbing one. It will make your life so much easier!

A compartmental freak like me? Check out this triple kit from Rubbermaid that gives you 2 sandwich blox and one salad blox…I might have to invest in one of these sets next!61sPBnHl2UL._SL1500_

Shades Upgrade

I love new sunglasses. They are a fun and simple way to switch up your accessories, especially during the summer.

Aviators, Wayfarers, Square, Cat Eye, Oversized, Sport, Club Master, Round, Pilot, Butterfly, etc… The list goes on and on!

Whatever shape / style you choose to rock on a sunny day, remember that while your shades may be stylish, they are also imperative to maintaining good eye health. Sunglasses protect the eye from painful sunburns (yes, in your eyes), and may help slow down cataracts and macular degeneration. Also, did you know that the skin around the eyes, including your eyelids, is one of the areas most prone to cancer!?

Reasons to Wear Sunglasses
Source: American Optometric Association

1.) UV Protection. The sun’s UV radiation can cause cataracts; benign growths on the eye’s surface; and photokeratitis, sometimes called snow blindness, which is a temporary but painful sunburn of the eye’s surface. Wide-brimmed hats and caps can block about 50 percent of UV radiation from the eyes but optometrists say that is not enough protection.

2.) Blue-Light Protection. Long-term exposure to the blue and violet portion of the solar spectrum has been implicated as a risk factor for macular degeneration, especially for individuals that are “sun sensitive.”

3.) Comfortable vision. The sun’s brightness and glare interferes with comfortable vision and the ability to see clearly by causing people to squint and the eyes to water.

4.) Dark adaptation. Spending just two or three hours in bright sunlight can hamper the eyes’ ability to adapt quickly to nighttime or indoor light levels. This can make driving at night after spending a day in the sun more hazardous.

5.) Skin Cancer. Cancer of the eyelids and skin around the eyes is more common than people think. People should wear sunglasses outdoors whether they are working, driving, participating in sports, taking a walk, running errands or doing anything in the sun.

So, now that you know sunglasses are A MUST, it’s time to pick out a new favorite pair!

J is for June

Do you remember watching Sesame Street? And how each episode was brought to you by a letter and a number?

Well friends, today’s post is brought to you by the letter ‘J’ and the number ‘2’ in honor of my first blog post of the month (June 2).

I decided to hunt for ‘awesome’ thing that start with the letter ‘J’ and share them with you! If anyone spots Elmo or Grover, you be sure to let me know.

Reflecting Gloss Juice Beauty

Reflecting Gloss
Juice Beauty

Jerimo Wedges Jessica Simpson

Jerimo Wedges
Jessica Simpson

Dapper Dads from C. Wonder

Father’s Day is coming up in a few weeks, which means it is time to shop! C. Wonder has a quirky collection of treasures that might just suit your one-of-a-kind-cool dad.

Here are some of my favorites:

And, of course…the best for last!

Seychelles Shoes

So…when I heard about the big Birkenstock come-back, I was skeptical. (If you don’t know, apparently Birkenstocks are ‘the comeback sandal’ this summer…literally, they are everywhere. in cute metallics, too!)

I thought about pulling the trigger and investing in some Birks (allowing time travel back to my sixth grade self), but I just couldn’t do it. I think they look nice on some people, especially some of the newer colors being offered now, but for some reason I really hate how they appear while looking down at my feet. Couldn’t do it.

What I figured out I DID want, was a ‘footbed’ sandal — Definition: The footbed is the inside part of the shoe that runs under the bottom of the foot. A footbed is also sometimes referred to as the insole, inner sole or innersole.

Birkenstocks, for example, are footbed sandals because your foot is actually housed in a bed, not just on top of a surface like a slip flop. There is a cozy foot ‘cave’.

sofaraw9s12Looking for a sandal that was cuter than a Birkenstock, but still had the feature of a footbed, I found myself drooling over Seychelles ‘So Far Away’ sandal.

Something about the shape was ultimately more flattering than the Birks and I really loved the buckle detail. Cute.

I ordered a pair in a simple neutral color (Vacchetta) and have been extremely happy with the purchase!

The sandals are made in Italy and are beautifully constructed. I can already tell that they are made with care and will be quite durable. Because it is real leather, I haven’t experienced any ‘cutting’ into my foot as I wear them in. Instead, the leather bends naturally and wears even better over time.

If you are looking for a similar sandal, but prefer one with a toe spacer (like a flip flop but with a footbed), check out Seychelles ‘Calm Down’. Also adorable, durable and a great addition to your summer footwear! (I have my eye on that gold pair…time to save those pennies!)

Workout Awesome

Some of my favorite guest bloggers are back, and this time, it is with their favorite workout wear looks head-to-toe!

Let’s be honest…workout wear has exploded into an important part of the fashion industry. But what is MORE important than simply looking good while burning those pesky calories, is having the right equipment to do so! Technology has enhanced the way in which we workout, right down to those magical fabrics that are ‘moisture-wicking’, ‘odor-repelling’, and ‘four way stretch’.

Check out these awesome outfits from Danielle, Alex and Melissa!

Danielle’s Workout Wear
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I used to be someone who could simply workout in yoga pants and a t-shirt and I didn’t understand the hype about all of the new “wicking” or “dry-fit” materials. Now that I’ve crossed over to the dark-side, I can’t see myself going back. I put together a few of my favorite pieces in this head-to-toe running outfit.

I am someone who cannot stand having little pieces of hair stuck to my face when it’s sweaty – so I love the (1) “Fly Away Tamer” headband by Lululemon. The grips on the underside help keep the headband in place and the moisture wicking fabric absorbs the hairline sweat.

Though I am a sucker for Lululemon, I don’t feel the need to splurge on their sport bras (though I hear they are awesome). I like to stick with this (2) Target classic.

I LOVE these (3) “run swifty” tops from Lululemon. I picked the short sleeve option, but whether it’s chilly and you need long sleeves or your in hot yoga and prefer a tank top – this top wicks away the sweat and is one of the top 5 most comfortable things I own.

On the bottom, I love running in these (4) “run: inspire crop II” pants also from Lululemon. They are vented in the backs of the knees, which helps keep you cool while running. They are also made with the “Luxtreme” fabric by lululemon which prevents pilling and chaffing.

If it’s a little bit chilly, you may want to throw on this (5) “lightened up pullover”. I don’t have this, but it is definable on my wishlist! The flowers and ruffles make it girly, yet still sporty.

I only started seriously running last year, so I’ve only owned one pair of running shoes. However, since the first run in these shoes, I have had zero problems. No shin splints, no blisters, nothing! My friend Chelsea, who got me started in running, recommended the (6) Brooks brand – and I do not see myself switching!

Alex’s Workout Wear
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An appropriate outfit should always be part of a workout plan. Having comfortable and durable clothing is part of proper planning, just like stretching before an intense workout, or fueling on carbs the night before a big run.  When it comes to running, my favorite form of physical activity, I have many types of leggings, shorts, jackets and tops. However, I always find myself grabbing the same few articles of clothing before each run. Below are a few of my favorites.

These (1) Women’s Active Side-Mesh Running Shorts from Old Navy are my all-time favorite bottoms to wear while running. While running, I am a huge fan of shorts compared to leggings. With leggings, I find myself pulling them up halfway through my run. However, mesh shorts have never given me an issue. I enjoy this pair from Old Navy more than other running shorts due to the length, since they’re long enough to not ride up. I also love this pair because they have a small pocket on the waistband, holding my apartment keys while on the go.

This (2) Reebok Crossfit Elite Fitness Long Sleeve Tee is amazing. I like it because it is long sleeved, perfect for running in the fall or winter. However, I am a very sweaty person, and this long sleeved top doesn’t make me heat up! It absorbs sweat and it tight on the body, minimizing any chance of the shirt snagging on anything while working out.

About a year ago, I went to Playmakers for the first time. Playmakers is a footwear and apparel store dedicated to helping customers increase their fitness level. They absolutely helped me out. The employee had me walk and run in the store in order to assist me in finding the perfect pair of running shoes for my feet. The pair I was advised to purchase was the (3) Women’s Ghost 6 by Brooks. This pair has enough support to prevent my feet from turning in while running. For anyone looking to buy a pair of running shoes, I advise you to go to Playmakers! I was lost when looking for a new pair, and I am very glad I had the assistance to find the right pair for my running style/feet.

Melissa’s Workout Wear
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If you are anything like me, 90% of your wardrobe consists of workout clothes. When shopping, I like to take into account what I will be able to move around in at the gym and what will be comfortable to wear running errands or around the house.

When I run or do any type of cardio, I am a dripping mess of sweat. I prefer to wear tank tops for this very reason. I love this (1) Nike tank-top in black and white. Racer back tanks are awesome for working out because the thicker straps provide more support and don’t dig in to your shoulders.Underneath my tank-top I like to wear a racer back shaped sports bra with thick straps, just like my shirt. Once again I like this style because it provides the most support and comfort for me. I usually workout in all black clothing, with a pop of color in my sports bra. I love this neon yellow (2) Nike Pro-Sports Bra for summer!

I am a Lululemon addict and own countless styles and pairs of their leggings. Recently, I wanted to invest in  a different brand of leggings geared more toward sweating and cardio, rather than yoga.  These (3) Nike Pro-Hyper cool leggings have mesh panels designed for ventilation when working out. They are much cheaper than Lululemon leggings but the quality is just as high!

To continue my Nike workout outfit I have a pair of (4) Nike Lunarglide +5 running shoes. Nike tennis shoes have always been my favorite type of workout shoe. I love the amount of sturdiness they provide while still being lightweight. They provide support for my weak ankles and keep me feeling safe while running and jumping around.

When working out I like to use a reusable water bottle instead of a plastic one. I recently was introduced to the (5) Tritan Flavor It Water Bottle. It holds 20 Ounces of liquid and is %100 BPA free. The selling point about this water bottle is that there is a capsule in the middle that can be filled with fruit to be infused into the water. I love putting lemons, cucumber, or kiwi in mine!

Pinterest Finds

I thought it was probably time to share some recent favorite finds from Pinterest.

I really love getting lost in the world of Pinterest. It allows you dream, plan, imagine, grow, create, and become inspired. It really is like belonging to the best club in the world where awesome people share things that interest and excite them. What could be better than an unlimited sharing of inspired ideas?!

I like looking back at my boards to gather a sense of what trends interested me at a particular time. It’s fun to, in a sense, see a snapshot of what was swirling around my brain at any given moment.

Here are some of my recent pins:

Pinned 100-Calorie Cheese, Vegetable and Egg Muffins (gluten-free)

Pinned
100-Calorie Cheese, Vegetable and Egg Muffins (gluten-free)

 Follow me on Pinterest!

Fabletics

I’ve been shopping for activewear at Fabletics, a premium fitness apparel brand developed by Kate Hudson, for a few months now…and I LOVE IT! The prices for this level of quality are pretty amazing!

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If you sign up to view styles chosen for you each month, you can save even more, but you also have the option to skip the month and not buy anything. It’s free to join. Check it out!

How it Works:

1.  Fill out a Lifestyle Quiz – The answers you provide to the activities you enjoy, workouts you do most often and styles of activewear you normally wear will help personalize your monthly outfits.

2.  Fabletics chooses outfits (tops, bottoms and/or accessories) options just for you.  There are 2 levels of membership available.

  • If you are a Regular Member, you can choose what you want and shop whenever you like.
  • If you are a VIP Member*, you are offered complete outfits on a monthly basis that start at $49.95 (which qualifies for free shipping), 20% off individual items and Reward Points for purchases and referrals.

*VIP Membership is available to everyone and you can convert to VIP Membership from Regular at any time.

3.  Monthly VIP Outfits:  If you are a VIP Member you will be notified on the 1st of the month about your customized outfit options (chosen by Fabletics based on your lifestyle quiz answers).

You then have one of the following options that must be invoked by the 10th of the month or you will be charged $49.95 to be used as a future credit:

  • You can choose one of the special outfits chosen by Fabletics beginning at $49.95 and it will be sent to you with free shipping.
  • You can choose another combination of tops, bottoms, and/or accessories.  If the items chosen are less than $49.95, a $4.95 shipping fee will be incurred.
  • You can skip buying any product that month with the click of a button.

What to Choose – VIP or Regular Membership?

Since it was free, easy to cancel and allowed me a skip a month without penalty or payment (which seems to be different than other monthly subscription services), I chose the VIP Membership.

What Can You Buy?

I had a hard time choosing what pieces to buy for my first outfit.  You can choose by activity, collection or by desired piece:

  • Tops: bras, tanks, short sleeve, long sleeve tops and jackets
  • Bottoms: short shorts, cycling shorts, running shorts, capris and full length
  • Accessories: scarves, yoga mat carriers, headbands, water bottles or bags

What Are My Thoughts?

Honestly, I adore their leggings…in fact, I love them more than Lululemon (gasp, shock!) They are on the longer side, stay in place and are super comfortable.

The Kingston pullover (pictured below in cobalt blue) is one of my favorite pieces of clothing that I own. I would probably wear it everyday if that was allowed.

In terms of sizing, I would say that bottoms are ‘truer to size’ and tops run a tad large. The best part about Fabletics is the amazingly easy return / exchange policy. I was ordered a few pieces that ended up being too big and had no problem using their free returns / exchanges to get the correct size. It was easy to do with quick turn-around time. Super simple.

I also love that there are SO MANY customer reviews for each product. The honest feedback from real women is priceless. Bonus: if you review your purchases, you get points towards a free outfit (you also get points for purchases and referrals!) WIN!

Use My Referral Link!

If you’re interested in checking Fabletics out for yourself,
you can use this
link
(Disclaimer: For every 2 people who register for VIP Membership, Fabletics will provide me with one free outfit).

Here are some of my current favorites offered!

Time to Travel

Summer means travel time! I hope each of you are packing up and heading somewhere AWESOME at least once this summer! You deserve a getaway!

With travel comes (dun dun dunnnnn) packing. One of my least favorite things on the entire planet. It stresses me out! I don’t want to over pack, but then the fear of not being prepared overwhelms me and I often find myself sitting on the floor, cross-legged, surrounded by piles of clothes, petting my dog and refusing to forge ahead with the packing (I call this “pack pouting”).

Usually when I feel like this, I turn to packing either jewelry or toiletries. Each of those seems WAY more doable and less of a monstrous task.

For me, the key with jewelry and toiletries is the organization.
If these items, in particular, are not packed properly chaos can ensue.
Here are a few great travel options for both!