Wednesday, May 26, 2010

CSN stores giveaway!

Are you ready for an awesome giveaway???

Of course you are! So settle in . . . here it is:

Have you heard of CSN Stores? CSN is comprised of 200+ online stores, featuring a wide range of products -- cookware, toys, fitness equipment, home goods, furniture, you name it. You can learn more about this Boston-based company here.

Well, I was recently contacted by a CSN representative to host a giveaway on my site. I said yes and was pretty excited that the giveaway is for a $60 gift certificate to use at any of CSN's 200+ stores.

That's right, one winner will receive a one-time-use $60 gift certificate to use at any CSN Store. You can get something $60 or less, or apply your $60 to something more expensive. The choice is yours.

I'm partial to their Fitness Equipment & More store and Toys & Games Online, but that's me. If I were to spend $60 at CSN, I would probably check out some kettle balls:

Or maybe a mini-golf course for my son:

The winner, however, can choose to use the $60 gift certificate on anything!

To enter:

Visit CSN Stores and have a look around. Come back and leave a comment telling me what you'd use your $60 for if you win. Don't worry, you can change your mind if you win :-) (This must be done first for any additional entries to count)

For additional entries:
(leave one comment per entry for the additional ones to count):
  • Follow this blog or my other blog, or let me know that you already do (leave a comment)
  • Link to this giveaway from your blog (leave a comment)
  • Become a fan of The Happy Runner on Facebook (leave a comment)
  • Link to this giveaway from Facebook or Twitter (leave a comment each time)

This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada. Note that there may be shipping charges or in the case of Canadian readers, international fees, for certain products.

The giveaway will run from now through Wednesday, June 9 at 11:59pm EST.
The winner will be chosen using random.org and will be announced on Thursday, June 10th. Be sure to check back!

Good luck!

Review disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cheribundi review.

A while ago, I was fortunate to receive four sample bottles of a new drink, Cheribundi, to try out and review. I say fortunate because I wouldn't have even thought to try a tart cherry juice and that would have been too bad.

Now, I am a cranberry juice, pomegranate juice and lemon fan, all of which are on the tart side so it make sense that the tart cherry juice appealed to me. Someone with less of a taste for tartness might not enjoy the juice as much.

For this review, I tried two bottle of Tru Cherry, one of Whey Cherry and one of Skinny Cherry. My favorite of the three was the Tru Cherry, but all three were tasty! Here's some information on the three varieties from the Cheribundi web site:

Tru Cherry

Tru Cherry™ is your cheribundi™ if you:
  • want to feel better so you can keep moving
  • have an active lifestyle or exercise regularly
  • eat balanced meals to get the nutrients your body needs

Tru Cherry™ offers you:

  • 50 cherries (1/2 pound of fruit)
  • 2 servings of fruit
  • an abundance of antioxidants and nutrients
INGREDIENTS: TART CHERRY JUICE, WATER, APPLE JUICE CONCENTRATE (AS A SWEETENER).

Skinny Cherry

Skinny Cherry™ is your cheribundi™ if you:

  • want great taste without too much sugar and unnecessary calories
  • have an active lifestyle or exercise regularly
  • eat balanced meals to get the nutrients your body needs

Skinny Cherry™ offers you:

  • 40 cherries
  • 90 calories (fewer than Tru Cherry™)
  • all-natural Stevia for a full, delicious taste
  • an abundance of antioxidants and nutrients
INGREDIENTS: TART CHERRY JUICE, WATER, REB A (NATURAL STEVIA LEAF SWEETENER).

Whey Cherry

Whey Cherry™ is your cheribundi™ if you:

  • play sports competitively or for fun
  • train for athletic events from triathlons to fun runs
  • eat balanced meals to get the nutrients your body needs

Whey Cherry™ offers you:

  • 45 cherries
  • 8 grams of whey protein
  • a powerful ratio of nutrients, carbs and protein
INGREDIENTS: TART CHERRY JUICE, WHEY PROTEIN (WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE, PHOSPHORIC ACID, CITRIC ACID), WATER, APPLE JUICE CONCENTRATE (AS A SWEETENER), NIACINAMIDE (NIACIN), CALCIUM D-PANTOTHENATE (PANTOTHENIC ACID), PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (B6), RIBOFLAVIN, THIAMINE MONONITRATE (THIAMIN), FOLIC ACID, BIOTIN, CYANOCOBALAMIN (B12), AND MALTODEXTRIN. CONTAINS MILK.

Additionally, the cherries in all Cheribundi juices are grown in the United States, in Michigan and New York. To me, products that don't import their ingredients from far away score high points. In fact, I am one of those people who will gladly pay more for local produce, local meats and cheeses, etc. Cheribundi qualifies as local-ish in my book, because I'm a New York stater!

Anyway, I drank my Cheribundi right from the bottle and mixed with seltzer to make a spritzer. I liked it as a regular juice but really enjoyed it as part of a spritzer. The flavor of the Cheribundi juices is strong, so diluting them with seltzer doesn't take much away from them.

Overall, I liked this juice and would consider purchasing it. However, until recently they didn't have a very wide distribution. The juice is available for purchase on the Cheribundi web site and is making its way into stores. In fact, this past weekend I went to my local Hannaford and there was a Cheribundi end-cap in the natural foods section. A four pack of the juice was being sold for $7.99.

Review disclaimer: I received a free sample of the juice for review. I was not compensated in any way and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.


B-natal winner!

The lucky winner of the box of B-natal lozenges (winner's choice) is . . .

Running for Two!

Congratulations! E-mail me at felicehalf at yahoo dot com with your address and I'll get the lozenges sent your way.

Thanks to the folks at B-natal for this review and giveaway.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fun stuff coming soon!

I have a bunch of fun giveaways and reviews coming up for you guys. On tap next week is a giveaway sponsored by CSN Stores.


CSN is a network of 200+ online stores with a wide range of products like sectional sofas, cookware, toys and lots more. I'm SO excited to be able to offer one reader a pretty big gift certificate to use online -- so stay tuned for the giveaway announcement next week!

I also have reviews/giveaways coming up from Cheribundi, SofSole, La Tortilla Factory and ZBlok. And that's just in the next two weeks . . .

So check back and, in the mean time, if you are pregnant, plan to be pregnant soon, or know someone who is pregnant -- check out the B-Natal Therapops giveaway.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

B-natal review and giveaway

So, if you don't already know, I am pregnant, which is really only relevant right now because of my current review: B-natal TheraPops.

B-natal is designed for pregnant women as a morning sickness remedy, using doctor-recommended vitamin B6. According to the folks at B-natal: "In 2004, the leading academy of obstetricians and gynecologists issued guidance for physicians on the treatment of morning sickness. After reviewing the scientific literature, they concluded that the first defense against morning sickness is B6 in the form of pyridoxine."

You can read more about the science behind B6 and morning sickness here.

I received a box of the cherry Therapops to review. Unfortunately for the review -- but quite fortunately for me -- any queasiness that I had been experiencing early on had gone away by the time I received the pops. So, I figured I would get a newly pregnant friend to try them out and still be able to write a review based on how they worked for her. And then I happened to feel what I had forgotten: My pregnancy-induced post-run queasiness.

It's a weird thing. I get a little queasy after my hard(ish) runs these days. I've read that it happens because of all the pregnancy hormones. Which makes sense to me because I would sometimes feel a little off after tough workouts even before I was pregnant so if my insides are being "relaxed" because of the hormones, well, yeah. I get that I could experience some queasiness.

So, I tried a Therapop. They are tasty little lollipops and I enjoyed it. It also seemed to settle things for me. But was it psychological? I don't know. I've tried them after 4 runs since then, not the hardest but also not the easiest runs either. I haven't had any lingering queasiness so I'm thinking that maybe the Therapops stopped it from happening. In any case, I'm using that as my excuse to keep having one after every run!

Are you pregnant? Do you know someone who is?

You can purchase B-natal from Amazon or from the B-natal web site.

Or . . .

You could win a box of either the Therapops or the lozenges (oh, go for the pops . . . you'll feel like a kid!) from B-natal.

Here's how to enter:

Leave me a comment and tell me whether you'd choose the Therapops or the lozenges. That's it. Easy-peasy.

The contest will run through Monday, May 25 at 11:50pm EST and the winner will be chosen using random.org.

Good luck!

Review/giveaway disclosure: I was sent a box of Therapops to review. I was not compensated for this review/giveaway and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.








Subway giftcard winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Subway giveaway. There were tons of entries to this one! As promised, there are three winners of the $10 gift cards.

All three winners were chosen from all the entries using random.org. And the winners are:

Dawn
Bobbie
ShawnaMichelle

Congratulations, all! Send me your address (felicehalf at yahoo dot com) so you can get your giftcards.

Huge thanks to Subway for this giveaway!

Have a great day, everyone!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hood Simply Smart Milk review and contest info

My family is a 1% milk drinking family. We can't do skim and I don't want all the extra fat from 2% or whole, although they are certainly creamier and I know my son and husband would prefer that. But low fat wins out because I do the grocery shopping!

Hood, however, would like to change that. They make Simply Smart Milk, which has "all the taste, without all the fat." The low-fat milk is designed to taste richer and creamier than regular low-fat milk. According to Hood, they have developed "an innovative and natural way to deliver a low-fat milk that still tastes delicious by using ultra-filtration to remove some of the water that otherwise makes low-fat milk lack taste and texture. Because Simply Smart offers "all the taste, without all the fat" it is a great, healthy substitute for recipes that call for milk."


To test out the claim, I was sent some gift certificates for the milk. I went for the 1%, since that is what we normally drink. The milk was definitely creamier but it otherwise tasted like regular milk. I have to say that, at first, I wondered if it would taste funky but it didn't! I only noticed the creamier texture.

Another thing that I liked about the milk is that Hood states it is committed to purchasing milk from farmers who do not use artificial growth hormones.

Hood Simply Smart Milk is sold by me at Hannaford and Wal-Mart and was right in line with the price of other milks.

You can download coupons here.

Contest!

Here's some information on Hood's Simply Smart contest that will send some lucky peeps to sunny Florida this fall!

Simply Smart and tennis legend Chris Evert, are offering a fun contest for tennis players, golfers -- and all-around warm weather lovers! One lucky winner will receive a "grand slam” trip for two to the 2010 Chris Evert/Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic Weekend in Boca Raton, Florida, Nov. 5-7. Readers can sign up at BeSimplySmart.com by clicking “Contest.”

The VIP weekend includes:

* Round-trip airfare and ground transportation
* A two-night stay for two at the Boca Raton Resort & Club
* Opportunity for one person to participate in the Pro-Am Tennis event with Chris Evert
* Opportunity for one person to play in the Golf Classic with Greg Norman
* Invitations to the Celebrity Classic Cocktail Party and the Gala Dinner Dance
* Two tickets for both sessions of the Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic
* Access to the VIP Hospitality Suite at the Tennis Classic

So head over to BeSimplySmart.com to enter and good luck!

Review disclaimer: I was sent gift certificates for free milk for this review. I was not compensated in any other way and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.

PS: Remember to enter the Subway gift card giveaway!



Monday, May 10, 2010

Subway breakfast review and giveaway (3 winners!)

Recently, I had the chance to try out Subway's new breakfast offerings and was excited to do so!


I'm a Subway fan in large part because you can add tons of veggies to their subs at no cost. Plus, the subs are a normal size, not huge like some places make them. I don't know about you, but when I get a huge sub, I eat more. It just happens. With Subway, I'm eating a more appropriate amount of food.

Anyway, about the breakfast.

My son and I headed to Subway to check out what they had to offer. They have five breakfast sandwiches:
I went with the double bacon, egg and cheese and my son had the black forest ham, egg and cheese, both made with regular eggs (when ordering, you have the option of regular eggs or egg whites). My double bacon option was 220 calories with 10 grams of fat and my son's ham option was 180 calories with 7 grams of fat (if made with egg whites each sandwich would have 30 fewer calories and 3 fewer grams of fat). So, not too bad for what I would consider an indulgent breakfast (we usually don't have ham or bacon on regular days!).

I added a coffee to my breakfast and an orange juice for my son. Overall, we liked our breakfast. The sandwiches tasted fresh -- certainly fresher than those packaged egg sandwiches at most fast-food restaurants. They weren't greasy, either, which was a bonus.

Will I go back and have the Subway breakfast again? Yes, I will. Like I said, I already like Subway but if the breakfast hadn't been good, I wouldn't go again. We both liked what we ordered and I would like to try out some of the other sandwiches, maybe even going for the egg white ones sometimes.

You can check out the nutrition information here (PDF).

Now, how would you like to try some breakfast?

The giveaway

This giveaway is for a $10 gift card to Subway to check out their new breakfast options. Lucky for you, there will be THREE winners! Woo hoo!

To enter, let me know which breakfast sandwich you would like to try.

As always, you can gain a few additional entries (leave one comment per entry for the additional ones to count):
  • Follow this blog or my other blog, or let me know that you already do (leave a comment)
  • Link to this giveaway from your blog (leave a comment)
  • Become a fan of Subway on Facebook (leave a comment)
  • Follow Subway on Twitter -- @SUBWAYFreshBuzz (leave a comment)
  • Become a fan of The Happy Runner on Facebook (leave a comment)
  • Link to this giveaway from Facebook or Twitter (leave a comment each time)
The giveaway will run through 11:59pm EST on Monday, May 17, 2010 and the winner will be chosen using random.org and posted on Tuesday.

Good luck!


Review/giveaway disclosure: I was given a gift card with which to try the breakfast. I was not compensated in any other way for this review/giveaway and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

RhythmBRA review

Do you run with an iPod strapped to your arm and find it a little annoying? Do you carry your cell phone when running outdoors, letting the sweat from your hands drip all over the phone? Do you often wonder what the heck to do with your car keys when you forget to wear running shorts with a little pocket? Yes? Well, then I have just the sports bra for you: The RhythmBRA.

I was recently sent a RhythmBRA, a new sports bra from Lyoness Sportswear, to review. As soon as I saw it, I had to quickly file it under the, "Why didn't I think of that?" category.

The bra is genius.

Here's what it looks like:


Now, I don't like to run with music and I don't even own an iPod so when I was first contacted by Nancy Jane, the owner of the company, I thought the bra might not be for me. But, then I checked it out a little more and saw this on the web site: "The RhythmBRA is a sports bra with a patent pending center pocket built into the fabric of the bra. It holds any number of items, including your MP3 player, cellular telephone, credit card as well as money."

Ah-ha! I often run with my phone, especially now that I'm pregnant because you never know when something could happen. Pregnant or not, when running outdoors -- especially alone -- it is far better to be safe than sorry and carrying a cell phone will allow you to call for help if you are hurt or -- worse -- attacked (You can read more about running safety here.)

Anyway, I run with my phone and, when I do, I have to carry it in my hands. And my hands get pretty sweaty pretty quickly, which means so does my phone! It's gross.

So, I decided to check out the RhythmBRA and see how it would work for a cell phone.

Well, as I said before, the thing is genius. Seriously! First, the bra is made of a fairly firm, padded material with a flat pocket built-in to the center of the bra. If you don't put anything in the pocket, you wouldn't really know it is there. When I put my phone in, it fit well and the pocket almost formed around the phone. I was worried that the phone would bounce and that it would pound on my chest. It did neither. Once I got started on my run, I noticed the phone for a minute or so and then didn't. It never bothered me, never bounced, never pounded on my chest. What's more, the RhythmBRA is a good sports bra! Innovative center pocket aside, the bra was supportive and comfortable.

I've worn my RhythmBRA several times now, with my phone in the center pocket, and I have to say I'm pleased with it. I don't know exactly how it works for an iPod but I imagine it works well, since it held my phone with no problem. Overall, I highly recommend this sports bra!

The bra retails for $36, two for $60, and is available on the Lyoness Sportswear web site here.