Catalyst Waterproof Phone Case {Sponsored Review}

I’ve known for a long time that I needed a better case for my phone.  When Catalyst contacted me about reviewing their waterproof phone case, I couldn’t say no.  With summer in full effect and a beach trip on the horizon, I was ready to put the Catalyst waterproof phone case to the test.

Catalyst Waterproof Phone Case {Review} - MamaMommyMomLet me start by saying… I am cheap.  I don’t buy a lot of expensive things, but when I do, I try really hard to take care of them.  My iPhone has always, always been in a case.  If I’m doing something where my phone might get wet, I toss it in a Ziploc bag.  My life is in that phone and I have to keep it safe.  Enter the Catalyst waterproof phone case.

Catalyst Waterproof Phone Case Review - MamaMommyMomWhen I removed the case from its packaging, I was really surprised at how light it was.  Considering it is waterproof up to 16 feet and meets military specifications for drops up to 6 feet, I was expecting something much heavier.  The slim profile and light weight were a huge bonus.  My biggest complaint about most good cases is that they are so bulky, but the Catalyst waterproof phone case is not.  The 2-peice design has a very secure fit and was easy to put on without being difficult.

As far as function goes, I’ve have only one complaint about the case, but we’ll get to that in a minute.  I can tell no difference in sound quality from my speakers or ear piece and I have had no complaints about the quality of sound from the microphone either.  All of the buttons work great, as does the toggle switch for the “mute” functionality.  The added layer of the screen took a few days to get used to, though you just have to be a little firmer in your touch than you do with the naked screen.

Catalyst Waterproof Phone Case In The Ocean - MamaMommyMomBut, is it really waterproof?  Yes!  I’ve had this bad boy out for a run in the rain, playing in the ocean and even spilled coffee on it… all without incident!  The Catalyst waterproof phone case even protected my phone from the blowing sand on the beach.

Catalyst Waterproof Phone Case Boogie Boarding - MamaMommyMomI loved being able to take pictures of the kids without worrying about the ocean spray.  I can’t wait to take underwater photos at the pool.  I only wish I’d gotten the case sooner… it would’ve been awesome for the trip we took to Great Wolf Lodge in June.

Catalyst Waterproof Phone Case Takes Great Pictures - MamaMommyMomIf you’ve been around MamaMommyMom for very long, you probably know I am a huge fan of photography.  Being able to take great photos with my phone is a must for me.  While I have a DSLR, I don’t always want to lug it around and sometimes I just don’t have it handy.  Some cases impair the cameras ability to do it’s job as well as it can.  The Catalyst waterproof phone case does not.

Catalyst Waterproof Phone Case Pelican Picture - MamaMommyMomMy one and only complaint about the Catalyst waterproof phone case is that some headphone jacks do not fit well through the port in the case.  I did however just find out that Catalyst sells an adapter to remedy that problem.

All in all, I am super impressed with the Catalyst waterproof phone case and would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a truly waterproof case that you can rely on.

If you had a case like this and could take your phone anywhere without worrying about water damage, where would you take it and what would you take pictures of?

Posted in Reviews | 15 Comments

Nan and Byron’s {Another Great Charlotte Eatery}

If you’re in the Charlotte area and want to experience a truly delicious meal, check out Nan and Byron’s on South Blvd.  A while back, the owners (there are three of them) at Nan and Byron’s invited a group of local bloggers out to check out their menu and see what the restaurant had to offer.  If there’s free food involved, you can always count me in.

Charlotte Bloggers at Nan & Byron's - MamaMommyMomWe had a pretty big group, as you can see.  What else can you see in this picture? Popcorn.  Yes, popcorn.  Not chips, not bread.  Delicious seasoned popcorn.  It was the second unique thing I noticed at Nan and Byron’s.  What was the first?  Well, the pitchfork and shovel door handles, of course!

Nan & Byron's Charlotte Restuarant Review - MamaMommyMomWe shared some ah-mazing appetizers (like the Vegetable Dip, Peppedew Poppers and Train Wreck Fries) while we all poured over the menu and debated our options.  There are SO many delicious entree options to consider!

Fun at Nan & Byron's Charlotte - MamaMommyMomOne of my favorite parts of our meal was our server.  He was very knowledgeable about the menu and gave us some great personal recommendations, as well as answered any questions we had… and with a group of 10 women, you know we had a lot!  He was also kind enough to snap that group photo for us above.

Nan & Byron's Cocktails - MamaMommyMomWhile we waited on our dinner (I ordered the Shepherd’s Pie), I enjoyed a Nightshade Martini.  It had pomegranate juice and muddled cucumber.  It’s a seriously refreshing, perfect for summer drink.

Peppadew Poppers at Nan & Byron's Charlotte - MamaMommyMomThe Peppedew Poppers are to die for and must be ordered!  Even if you don’t care for peppers, you should give these a try!  They are sweet with just a hint of heat.  So good!

Rosemary Bellini - Nan & Byron's Charlotte - MamaMommyMomUnique cocktails are definitely a specialty at Nan and Byron’s.  The Rosemary Bellini and Jalapeno Margarita were phenomenal.  There were several other drinks I would love to try, and will at some point.  (I have already been back once since this trip and am anxiously waiting another night out!)

Jalapeno Margarita at Nan & Byron's Charlotte - MamaMommyMomI don’t have a picture of my entree or our desserts.  We were in an open air space and the daylight sort of gave out on me.  While there are no pics, I can promise you that the Shepherd’s Pie was amazing, as were the several desserts we sampled.

Nan and Byron’s has an awesome bar area, fantastic dining room and a lovely outdoor (pet friendly!) patio.  It’s also located well within walking distance of the light rail line and offers valet parking, should you prefer to drive.  It’s great for a date night, though kid friendly too!  If you’re in the area, stop by and check it out.  Don’t forget to order the Peppedew Poppers!

Posted in Food, Reviews | 11 Comments

Bacon Milkshake – Gross or Genius?

Bacon, bacon everywhere!  Generally, you won’t hear me complain.  I happened upon something last week though that blew my mind: The Bacon Milkshake.

Bacon Milkshake - MamaMommyMomAre you as completely freaked out right now as I am?  A bacon milkshake?  What?  My emotions ranged from disgusted to intrigued and I almost bought one just out of sheer curiosity.  My good senses kicked in (and the fact that I had my dog in the car, and it was hot outside, and I was late getting back from lunch already) and I decided to pass.  I have been completely vexed by this sweet and savory abomination ever since.

And I have nearly stopped to try it every day.

Then I think about my jeans being a little snug, about how much I really need to go for a run (and definitely not with that on my stomach) and how I really don’t need to spend the $3 on something that will surely be awful.  Then I drive on by.

The next day, I repeat that scenario again.

Am I crazy for being so intrigued by a bacon milkshake?  Has anyone tried it?  Do people actually order these things?  Can I live life never knowing what a bacon milkshake would taste like?

What say you all?  Gross, genius or something that I need to try and report back on?  I mean, if you *need* to know and you *need* me to tell you, I guess I could take one for the team.  Should I do it?

Posted in Food | 2 Comments

It’s Here! Bonefish Grill Introduces Their New Menu! {Review & Giveaway} #HelloNewMenu

Bonefish Grill has made some changes to their menu, and let me tell you, change is GOOD!  Our local Bonefish Grill location had a group of area bloggers over last night to experience some of their new menu items (complimentary) and there are so many delicious dishes I want to share with you.  Say hello to the new Bonefish Grill menu and stick around through the end of the post for a giveaway!

Bonefish Grill New Menu Review #HelloNewMenu - MamaMommyMomFirst of all, don’t worry… Bonefish Grill did not get rid of the Bang Bang Shrimp.  Now that Bang Bang Shrimp lovers everywhere can breath easy, let me tell you about what’s new on the menu.  With over 20 new items spanning every category from drinks to desserts, you’re going to have some difficult choices to make.

NY Strip Tataki - Bonefish Grill #HelloNewMenu - MamaMommyMomLet’s start with the appetizers.  There are four new appetizers on the menu: Bang Bang Shrimp Flatbread, Twisted Edamame Hummus, NY Strip Tataki and Cold Snap Fresh Ceviche.  They all sound amazing, but we ended up trying the NY Strip Tataki and the Cold Snap Fresh Ceviche.  To die for!  The NY Strip Tataki could easily be an entree.  It was amazingly tender and flavorful, with just the right amount of seasonings.  The Cold Snap Ceviche was fresh, crisp and served in an ice glass!  It’s the perfect “light bite” to share.

Watermelon Salad - Bonefish Grill #HelloNewMenu - MamaMommyMomThere are two new salads on the menu at Bonefish Grill.  First is a Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad and the second is a Watermelon Salad.  We tried the Watermelon Salad, along with the Classic Caesar and a Bonefish House Salad.  For the Watermelon Salad, the peppery bite from the Arugula and the salty bite of the Feta couldn’t be a better pair for the juicy, sweet taste of ripe watermelon.  There are no heavy dressings on this salad, so this is another menu item that won’t leave you feeling weighed down.

Lobster Grilled Cheese Sandwich - Bonefish Grill #HelloNewMenu - MamaMommyMomThere’s only one new item on the “Handhelds” section of the menu, but it’s a showstopper.  Are you ready for it?  Lobster Grilled Cheese, and it’s served with Lobster Bisque!  Of all the things we tried on the new menu at Bonefish Grill, I think I was most impressed with the Lobster Grilled Cheese.  It was amazing and I’m not sure that there are any words I can use that will do it justice.  Huge chucks of lobster in both the sandwich and the soup, a delicious buttery bread and the cheese… of the cheese!  It was so good!

Ribeye with Bearnaise Sauce - Bonefish Grill #HelloNewMenu - MamaMommyMomOn the “Wood-Grilled” section of the menu, there are few new items to choose from.  There’s the Ahi Tuna Steak, Ribeyes with a choice of amazing sauces (like Bearnaise), and a killer Kona Crusted Ribeye.  We were lucky enough to try the Ribeye with Bearnaise sauce and the Kona Crusted Ribeye.  They were both delicious, but that Kona Crusted Ribeye was melt-on-your-mouth delicious.  It will be high on my list of “top picks” as far as Bonefish Grill entrees go.

Spicy Tuna Bowl - Bonefish Grill #HelloNewMenu - MamaMommyMomBonefish Grill has added a new selection of “Bowls” to the menu as well.  With four varieties to choose from, it’s easy to find something to please everyone.  Spicy Tuna, Seared NY Strip. Shrimp Pad Thai  and Fire Roasted Vegetables cover quite a range in just four little (really, they’re pretty big) bowls.  While I could have easily been convinced to try all four, we ended up only trying the Spicy Tuna Bowl.  I am a huge tuna fan, so I was really excited for this particular dish.  It did not disappoint.  The tuna was perfect and the rice and avocado were the perfect accompaniment.  The spicy mango sauce on the side was killer, in a good way!  I think I could dip just about anything in that sauce.

Crisp Cucumber Cosmo - Bonefish Grill #HelloNewMenu - MamaMommyMomWe tried a few new things from the bar too…  First, we sampled a delicious red blend by Charles & Charles.  It was surprisingly light for a red, with no trace of bitterness at all.  It would definitely be a great choice with any of the dishes at Bonefish Grill, but particularly the ribeyes.  There are 4 new martinis on the menu as well: Cold Snap Cucumber Cosmo, Fresh Raspberry Martini, Fresh Pineapple Martini and Ocean Trust Tropic Heat Martini.  I tried the Cold Snap Cucumber Cosmo, which was served in a super cool ice glass (how could I not order that?) and the Ocean Trust Tropic Heat Martini.  Both were delicious, but the Ocean Trust Tropic Heat Martini was my favorite.  Plus, Bonefish Grill donates $1 from the sale of each Ocean Trust Tropic Heat Martini to the Ocean Trust.

Banana Split Flatbread - Bonefish Grill #HelloNewMenu - MamaMommyMomSaving the best for last?  Maybe.  If you’re a fan of desserts, Bonefish has added two that I think are pretty darn phenomenal.  First, there’s the Banana Split Flatbread.  It’s the lighter of the two new desserts, though certainly not lacking in flavor.  It’s all the classic tastes you love from a banana split, layer on a crispy flatbread.  If you’re looking for something a little sweeter, perhaps with some chocolate, then look no further than the S’mores Flatbread.  As a huge fan of S’mores, I approve!  With chocolate, marshmallow and graham cracker crumbs, it would be hard to go wrong with this decadent dessert.

S'mores Flatbread - Bonefish Grill #HelloNewMenu - MamaMommyMomI hope you see a few (or a lot!) of things on the new Bonefish Grill menu that you’d like to try.  To make it a bit easier on your wallet, we’re going to giveaway a $25 Bonefish Grill Gift Card.  Entering is easy… just leave a comment telling me what new menu item you’d like to try!  We’ll leave the giveaway open until 12:01 AM August 15th.  That gives you a week to enter!

So, what do YOU want to try on the new menu?

Posted in Closed Giveaways, Food, Giveaways, Reviews | 57 Comments

Artistry Gift Wrap {Subscription Box Review!}

For you subscription box hoarders like me, you probably get excited when you find a new box.  When Melissa from Artistry Gift Wrap contacted me about reviewing their monthly subscription box service, I had to check it out.  This box is little different from many other subscription box services, but I think you’ll like it all the same.

Artistry Gift Wrap Subscription Box Review - MamaMommyMomWhile other subscription boxes change up what you get month to month, with Artistry Gift Wrap you always know what to expect… at least to some degree.  Each shipment comes with 5-7 sheets of unique, high quality, double sided wrapping paper from a specific brand or artist, and the occasional greeting card.  The paper is shipped rolled, avoiding nasty creases, and comes in sheets that are approximately 19″ x 27″.

Artistry Gift Wrap Subscription - MamaMommyMomWhat I Got

My complimentary June Box included 5 sheets of double sided gift wrap and two greeting cards.  You can see all of the patterns of the paper in the first image and I’ll share a picture of the cards below. The cards are blank inside, and were ironically fitting since a friend of mine just had a baby.

Artistry Gift Wrap Greeting Cards - MamaMommyMomWhat I Thought

The paper quality is phenomenal.  It’s heavy, the colors are beautiful and the prints are sharp and detailed.  I loved the designs, especially that there was a male friendly design included and was a little sad that I would have to chose which side of some of the papers to use as the ‘exterior’ design when wrapping.  The cards are lovely, and I really like that they are blank inside and aren’t pre-printed with any sort of sayings or quotes.

The downside to the paper is that the sheets are only 19″ x 27″.  Sadly, a sheet isn’t going to go very far and will only really be useful for smaller wrapping jobs.  I have zero complaints about the cards as both were lovely and very high quality, and honestly priced about where most other cards are in store.

The Cost

At $25 for a monthly subscription, whether or not you find this a valuable subscription box will be subjective.  If you enjoy unique wrapping papers and giving small gifts through out the year, this will be a fun box for you!  If you’re a birthday, holiday, “only when I have to” gift giver, you probably won’t get your monies worth out of the Artistry Gift Wrap service.

You can check out all the details on Artistry Gift Wrap at their website.  Do you have a favorite subscription box service or one that you think is unique and that I should check out?  Leave me a comment!

Posted in Reviews | 5 Comments

Your Questions About Blogging Answered {The Ask & Answer Series}

Back in July, I took reader question on Facebook in an “anything goes” format.  There were a surprising number of questions about blogging and rather than lump them in with the other questions, I decided on a stand alone post on those questions.  The answers might be helpful to you if you’ve thought about starting a blog, or some may just be plain entertaining!

Questions About Blogging - MamaMommyMom

How did you come up with your blog name? – Caitlin F.

I’ve been asked this question a number of times.  Really, it’s most easily answered by sharing a video.  My blog started out as just a place to write about my life, and at the time, having a 3 year old and a 6 month old, this video pretty much summed up how most of my days went.

Why did you decide to start a blog? – Kristin C.

What feels like a lifetime ago, a friend of mine pointed out that I nearly always had something to say about just about everything.  That was and still is entirely true.  I found that I spent a lot of time saying the same things to several friends within our group.  That same friend suggested I start a blog.  It would give me a way to share my opinions and thoughts without constantly repeating myself.

How did you get started? – Keri B.

When I started my blog, there weren’t nearly as many platform options out there as there are now.  Several of the blogs I followed were on the Blogger platform and it just seemed simple to follow suit.  I picked a name (see video above), grabbed a basic background and published my first post on December 1, 2009.

How long have you been a blogger? – Becky H.

December 1st will be my 5th anniversary!

What are your biggest sources of inspiration for DIY/Crafts? – Theresa R.

Far and away, Pinterest is my biggest source of inspiration.  I’d like to say that I just populate things in my head, but that wouldn’t be true.  I often also see pictures in magazines or projects other bloggers have completed and draw inspiration from those.  It may be colors, function or design elements that I pull from.

What would you say is the key to being a successful blogger? – Robyn C.

I wish I could answer this, I really do!  It would make blogging a lot easier if I knew the one key to success.  There are a lot of things that go into being successful, and the first one is realizing that your success isn’t the same as everyone else’s.  I will never be Ree Drummond.  If I measure my success against hers, well, I guess I will always be disappointed.

How do you keep it up?  A blog seems like so much work! – Rainey N.

It is a lot of work!  I spend hours most days doing something related to blogging – even if it doesn’t always show on the site itself.  I’d love to publish a new post everyday (be it a craft, recipe or whatever) but completing those projects takes time… more than you’d imagine since I also have to photograph them, edit the pictures, write up the post… you get the picture.  I genuinely enjoy it though, and that keeps me going.

Do you make much money blogging?  – Leslie B.

I suppose this would depend on your definition of much.  I make a little money, but I put most of it back into the site.  Web hosting, giveaway prizes, supplies for projects and recipes… the vast majority of it gets paid for by me.  You can be sure that anytime I get something free for a craft, project, recipe or whatever, you’ll know.  If I’m paid for writing and sharing a post, you’ll know that too.  I never want readers to feel “snowed”.  I definitely do try to make money at this blogging thing, but I do genuinely love blogging too.

How do you get up your Alexa ranking? – Mandy R.

This is by far the most technical question, and one I don’t have a good answer for.  I’ve never been one to really fixate on my stats beyond pageviews and unique monthly visitors.  If anyone has any words of wisdom on the topic, maybe they’ll post a comment or link in the comments.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading the answers to these questions.  If you have other questions about blogging you want answered, please comment below and if you want to read the other questions about my life, here’s the first and second post.

Posted in Blogging How To, Life in General | 7 Comments

I Was Not Ready For That Jelly { Attack of the Jellyfish }

Dear jellyfish, Go home – you’re drunk!  In my thirty-three years on this earth, visiting the beach every one of them, I have – had – managed to avoid the wrath of the jellyfish.  Notice the “had”.

jellyfish sting - MamaMommyMomThat would be me, being highly unimpressed with our jellyfish friends.  Within a matter of seconds, my 7 year old daughter, my 3 year old niece and I were all stung by the Atlantic Sea Nettle.  Holy moly… that hurt worse than the majority of my unmedicated labor with my son.  The best way I can describe it is this: It felt like something bit a huge chunk out of my leg, and then I laid down on an electric fence.

Oak Island NC - MamaMommyMomOak Island is a beautiful place.  We’ve been vacationing here since 2003.  This is the first year we’ve ever experienced jellyfish like we have this year.  I mean, we occasionally see them washed up in the early morning, but never in the surf and we’ve never seen anyone stung.  Within minutes of the three of us being stung, another little boy was stung as well.  I can only assume that the storm from the night before really tossed them up.  I shared this picture of the storm on Instagram:

Storm Cloud - Shelf Cloud - MamaMommyMomThat picture is not edited or filtered in anyway.  The storm was wicked (there’s a great video of the lightning on my Instagram feed.)

For future reference, per the lovely gentleman at the Oak Island Fire Department, do not use vinegar or anything else on a jellyfish sting.  You should however take a soak in a hot bath, as hot as you can stand, and it will stop the sting.  I can vouch for the fact that it works.  Really, after the first 20 minutes or so of feeling like I was laying on an electric fence, the hot water felt amazing.

Have you experienced a jellyfish sting?  Do jellyfish and other creatures of the deep keep you out of the ocean waters?

Posted in Health/Wellness, Life in General, Travel | 6 Comments

July Ipsy Glam Bag Reveal

A few months ago, I told you guys about some of the cool subscription boxes I had heard about, both through referrals and advertising on the web.  Ipsy {that’s my referral link} was one of the first subscription boxes I signed up for, and three months in, I couldn’t be happier.

Ipsy July Glam Bag ReviewBack in May, I posted a “reveal” of my first Ipsy Glam Bag.  I never got around to posting my June Ipsy Glam Bag reveal, even though it was just as awesome as my May Glam Bag (and I may share it at some point this month anyway.)  So today, before July slips away, I wanted to share my July Ipsy Glam Bag!

Tints and Sass Lip and Cheek Stain - MamaMommyMomTints & Sass Fabulous Lip and Cheek Stain (Cherry)

I haven’t tried this yet on my cheeks, but I love the color on my lips!  It goes on really thin, ultimately ‘staining’ your lips rather than sitting on them.  The downside was that the color didn’t hold up well to eating/drinking.  I definitely wish the wear was longer lasting.  I do look forward to trying it on my cheeks though.  I think it will give a nice, flushed look without looking like makeup.

Nailtini Nail Polish Ipsy Glam Bag Review - MamaMommyMomNailtini Nail Lacquer (Mango Rita)

I’m not generally much of a polish kind of girl, mostly because I sort of suck at making it look good, but I was very happy with the Nailtini Nail Lacquer in my July Ipsy Glam Bag.  The polish went on smooth, dried fast and covered well (especially for a lighter color) in two coats.  I will definitely be ordering this brand in a few additional colors in the very near future.  (Also, the polish itself more than paid for the cost of my Glam Bag for the month!)

Bare Minerals Eye Color - MamaMommyMomBare Minerals 5 in 1 Cream Eye Shadow (Divine Wine)

While the particular color I received is a little dark for me, the product itself is amazing!  the texture and coverage are perfect and the pigmentation is wonderful.  I’ve never been good at wearing darker eye colors, but I’m going to figure out a way to make this one work.

Clear Clinic Clear Spot Treatment - MamaMommyMomClear Clinic Vanished Clear Spot Treatment

This is the first of two products in my July Ipsy Glam Bag that I have not had a chance to try yet.  At $35 for the full-size product, I have high hopes for my 2 ml sample size.  Ironically, I’ve had a few spots pop up today and we leave for vacation tomorrow.  *Gasp*  It’s time to pull this out and hope it works its magic!

Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil Ipsy Glam Bag - MamaMommyMomHang Ten Dark Tanning Oil

The other product in my July Ipsy Glam Bag I haven’t had the chance to try is this tanning oil.  I’m headed to the beach tomorrow though, and it’s packed in my bag!  I’ll come back and update my findings after I give it a test run on the beach!

Try Ipsy!

I have personally loved getting my glam bag in the mail every month.  It’s so fun to try new products and have a growing collection of fun things to spice up my normal beauty routine.  If you want to give Ipsy a try, I’d love for you to check them out through my referral link:

Are in of the products in my July Ipsy Glam Bag in your makeup bag too, or are there any you’d like to add to your own collection?

Posted in Beauty & Fashion | 5 Comments

Running on Zero { Altra Zero Drop Running Shoes }

I had racked up some miles on my New Balance 880 V2s and, I though I’ve never been good at keep track of the exact miles on my shoes, I was starting to feel pain in my shins again.  With Cooper River looming, I knew that would be my last real run in my NBs and the official hunt for a replacement began.  Enter the concept of Zero Drop.

Altra Zero Drop Trail ShoesLike most runners, I have a few issues I struggle with.  First, I’ve always had trouble with shin splints, but especially when my shoes start to get worn.  For me, it’s a tell-tell sign that I need to replace them, and the pain in my legs in March was the call to action.  Initially, I was just planning to get another pair of New Balance 880s.  I had been happy enough with them and the price was right.  Before I made the buy, I decided to do some reading online about my options.  I don’t even remember what I searched for specifically, but I ended up stumbling across Altra’s website.

New Altra Zero Drop Running Shoes ReviewThe foot shaped toe box was enough to draw me in.  A wider toe box was why I had ended up with the New Balance 880s over many other options I’d tried.  When I started reading about the Zero Drop soles, that’s when I decided to order a pair.  Zero Drop means that the soles are the same thickness at the heel as they are at the forefoot.  I had always felt pitched forward in running shoes.  I absolutely loathe that feeling.  According to what I read, Zero Drop would eliminate that, improve my foot strike and reduce the overall impact on my body.  Sign me up!

Muddy Altra Zero Drop Running Shoes ReviewI ordered a pair of The One.  The were definitely a little “louder” than my old 880s, but at least I wouldn’t have to be worried about getting lost in the dark.  I knew after my first short run that these shoes were for me.  They were light, breathable, and incredibly comfortable – both when running and just walking around.  I had no pain from my shoe change, and running with Zero Drop felt so much more natural than it ever has in any other shoes.

Altra Zero Drop Running Shoes ReviewMy longest outing in The Ones so far has been 10 miles.  They were some of the most comfortable miles ever – even after trudging through knee high water in them.  Did I mention how breathable and quick drying they are?  Most of my running has always been urban – streets, sidewalks, the occasional greenway… but, I’ve really started to branch out and enjoy trails a lot more since Fenway came to live with us, so it only felt natural to get a pair of Zero Drop trail shoes…

Altra Zero Drop Trail Shoes ReviewThe Lone Peak trail running shoes from Altra are Zero Drop and have these neat, almost cleat-like, soles that push rocks toward the mid-sole, making your trail run much more comfortable.  My favorite, favorite feature of these shoes though is the descent rudder.  The descent rudder saved my butt no less than three times on my muddy trail run yesterday.  This super awesome little piece of rubber keeps you from wiping out when your foot slips out as you run downhill.  It gives you a quick catch and a little chance to regain your footing.

Altra Zero Drop Running Shoes Review Well LovedAs far as durability goes, I’ve kind of put these shoes through the wringer, and they’ve held up amazingly!  If you’re looking for a new running shoe, definitely give Altra Zero Drop a try.  Oh, and if you worry about ordering shoes you’ve never tried, Altra has a 30 day, no questions asked return policy – worn or unworn – so you can order a pair, give them a go, and send them back if they’re not for you!

Posted in Reviews, Running | 3 Comments

Your Questions About My Life Answered – Part 2 {The Ask & Answer Series}

Last week, I gave our Facebook followers a chance to ask me a question about my life, blogging, or pretty much anything that peaked their curiosity.  The response was great and I answered the first part of the questions in an earlier post.  Today I’m going to cover the second half of the questions about me and my life!  The remainder of the questions, all blogging related, will be answered next week.  Here we go!

What’s your favorite kitchen tool? – Nola C.

Even though I only use it once or twice a year, my favorite kitchen tool has to be my my Apple Peeler, Corer, Slicer from Pampered Chef.  I love that thing!

My LIfe - Making MemoriesWhat’s your favorite memory with your kids? – Allison R.

I don’t know that I have a favorite memory with my kids.  Is that bad?  They are only 5 and 7 and I think my favorite memories with them will be constantly changing for the next several years.

What’s your favorite recipe? – Kayla J.

I have this Chicken Crunch Casserole recipe I got through one of my eMeals meal plans and it is my absolute favorite thing right now… and has been for about the last year.  It’s SO good.  It has curry in it.  YUMMY!

What’s the best recipe for fruit salad? – Lindsay A.

Would you believe that I don’t have a fruit salad recipe?  Honestly, I just love watermelon and cantaloupe cut up and sprinkled with a little salt.  If I have a warm biscuit to eat with it, even better!

What are your summer vacation must-haves? – Stephanie S.

Ok, don’t think I’m crazy, but my Crock Pot and my Keurig are must haves on vacation!  Without coffee, no one would be safe and the Crock Pot makes dinner so much easier!

What is your dream car? – Amy S.

A convertible.  I’m really not picky.

My life - Splurging on StarbucksWhat’s your favorite splurge? – Cindy D.

Starbucks.  I am frugal about most things, but I can drop $20 on Frapps for the family and not think twice about it.

What are your favorite blogs to read on a regular basis? – Kelley C.

There are too many to list here, so I think I’m going to have to do a separate post on this!

What is your favorite family vacation spot? – Kristin M.

We visit the same place every year – Oak Island, NC.  We absolutely love it there!

Are you married and does your husband ever say you spend too much time online? – Tracy R.

Yes and yes.  I’ve been married for 14 (almost 15) years and I hear on a near constant basis that I am on the computer too much.

What’s for dinner and what time should we be there? – Candy H.

Tonight we had the aforementioned Chicken Crunch Casserole with rice.  Dinner is usually served around 6:30.  Come over any time!

What’s the weirdest thing someone has ever said to you? – Aprille S.

I once had someone say to me (while I was pregnant with my daughter) that they hoped I knew what it felt like to loose a child one day.  There’s a hugely long back story with that, but it will always be the weirdest, most shocking thing anyone has ever said to me.

What is your “real” job? – Amy D.

I work in finance and accounting.

What’s your favorite TV show? – Maureen G.

I don’t think I have one favorite.  I bounce from thing to thing.  I’m anxiously awaiting the new seasons of Sons of Anarchy and Scandal.

How did you and your hubby meet? – Rachael C.

We met at work.  He was one of the bosses.  He had to quit his job after we started seriously dating.

My LIfe - Being A Dog PersonAre you a cat person, dog person or both? – Stephanie T.

I would say both (since we do have three dogs and a cat), but I’m probably more a dog person.

What is your favorite type of sushi? – Tena S.

All of it?  Really, anything with salmon or tuna.  I especially love spicy rolls.

How do you cope with summer vacations?  Do you plan them in detail months in advance or just go along with whatever happens? – Elisa D.

We go to the same place, during the same week, every year.  So, that part is pretty easy.  What we do on vacation is pretty relaxed and go with the flow.  Lots of beach time and usually a trip to the aquarium, and stuff like that.

When you have had a long/bad day, what is your go to stress reliever. – Brooke J.

It depends.  If the situation allows, I love to go run.  Sometimes that isn’t always possible, so I might grab a book or disappear into Facebook for a while.

If you could suggest one book to us to read this summer, what would it be? – Nikki K.

My most recent “must-read” would be Gone Girl, though I am about half way through The Fault In Our Stars and I think that’s a must read too.

Where is your favorite place to shop for you? – Ginnie W.

GAP.  It’s my favorite place for dresses and jeans.  Though, lately the bulk of my wardrobe has been through Stitch Fix.

What’s a must-do with your kids this summer? – Arlene F.

I’ve got to teach the boy to ride his bike without training wheels.  Oy.  Outside of that, we try really hard to take it easy through the summer.

What’s your favorite refreshing summer drink? – Christa M.

My White Wine Sangria, of course!

What do you do for “me time” (if that ever happens!)? – Becky Y.

I love to read, I am a runner and have recently acquired a mountain bike.  I really love being outside, so I try to take advantage of my me-time by getting out as much as possible.

What’s the one beauty item you can’t leave the house without? – Lena B.

I need lipstick, lip gloss or lip stain.  It’s just one of those things for me.  I can have a completely naked face, but I need something on my lips!

So, there’s a little more about me.  Tell me something about you!  Pick one of the questions I answered and share your own answer with me in the comments.

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