It’s Our Holiday! {National Running Day!}

Happy National Running Day, everyone!

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…for my sanity. For my daughter. For myself. Running has completely changed me for the better and I’m so thankful for it, even if I did find it a little later on in life than most people.

How would YOU answer that question? And whatever your running plans are for today, how are you planning to fuel after that run?

If everything pans out, by the time you’re reading this post I should have logged 4 miles and then Charm City Run has a 2 mile fun run event planned for 6pm that I will be attending. And after all that I can tell you exactly how I will be fueling because it will be the same way I’ve been fueling for the past two days.

It’s DELICIOUS. 

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Introducing Post GN–that stands for Grape-Nuts–Fit Cranberry Vanilla granola and I hardly got it out of the shipper before having to taste it. I couldn’t even be bothered to take a decent package shot first before tearing in. What can I say? Vanilla is my favorite.

This granola is my FAVORITE. 

Some nutrition information can be found HERE. This protein-packed, whole grain yumminess tastes like dessert without an overload of sugar. I guess I could have put it in yogurt or something, but Betty and I opted to enjoy it straight out of the bag. Including seconds and thirds.

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I’m sure you can tell by her face that she was loving every bite. The only thing I wasn’t loving was how much granola that she dropped on the floor in the process, but hey…if she’s eating something healthy I can let things like that slide.

I’ve been an original Grape-Nuts fan ever since I was a little kid and my mom used to buy it, so I’m thrilled to see them branching out to include granola in their product lineup and focus on making their mark in the fitness market. Grape-Nuts kindly provided me with some helpful fitness tips; all of them so important to keep in mind on National Running Day or just on any running day in general!

Grape-Nuts Fitness Tips

Whether you’re a light runner or a tri-athlete, it’s important to mix up your workouts. Cross training, weight training, yoga and Pilates are great ways to add variety, work different muscles, and will make you stronger overall.

Don’t forget to refuel. After a long run, your muscles fibers begin to breakdown. In order to repair them properly, they need to be replenished. Grape-Nuts Fit offers a healthy combination of carbs, fiber and protein to give your muscles the nutrients they need to recharge.

After your run, always remember to stretch your muscles, especially your quads, hamstrings, hip flexors and calves, to prevent injury and increase flexibility.

Be sure to stay hydrated. Water helps balance fluids and prevents feelings of hunger between meals. Carrying a reusable bottle makes it easy to refill often, aiming for 3 liters a day.

Getting the proper amount of sleep is just as important as exercise and eating healthy. To allow for extra sleep time, plan ahead by meal prepping for the next day and putting out your workout gear the night before.

I know for me personally, the sleep thing is my biggest challenge. As is the meal prep thing. I think I have some work to do.

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Are you a granola fan? Have you tried Grape-Nuts Fit? How will YOU be celebrating National Running Day today??

xo,

Salt

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If only every OOTD could be like these! {Sparkle in Pink Review}

Anyone that follows me on Instagram might know that my daughter is a total fashionista. Betty LOVES clothes and the twirlier and more princessy the better. We have half of a walk-in closet’s worth of Disney princess costumes. Because I try to be a laid back mom and let her pick out her own clothes, that is how she ended up dressed as Princess Anna from Frozen for her last school pictures.

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Either the people at Sparkle in Pink Boutique got a look at my Insta-feed  or maybe they are psychic, but recently one of their friendly representatives reached out with some information on the brand.

Sparkle in Pink is a family owned business in Utah that launched in 2011. in a market that can be over-saturated with high priced items, they aim to make imaginative, trendy, well-made designs readily available to parents everywhere. I have definitely shied away from price tags in the past because Betty grows like a weed and it seems like something I buy for her one week doesn’t fit the next. So if you’re selling outfits that are cute AND easy on my wallet, you’ve definitely got my attention. I immediately headed over to their website to see what they had to offer.

There was SO MUCH ADORABLE that I almost couldn’t handle it. Before I even responded back to them, I had already started picking things out. They asked me if maybe Betty would be interested in trying on a couple pieces from their current collection and without hesitation I told them that YES anything they sent me would be well-received by my little girly girl who will readily tell anyone that her favorite color is, in fact, pink.

Two complete outfits arrived a couple days later and as soon as I had them out of the box I was instantly jealous that they don’t make things in my size.

Seriously, could you make this in my size please?

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I just can’t even.

Contrary to what you might think, MAR, this is a navy and yellow sailor style tutu dress; not black and yellow like a certain football team that shall remain nameless on here. It is the cutest item currently hanging in Betty’s closet. Also included was this adorable barrette:

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Courtesy of Sparkle in Pink dot com.

We wore this out and about on errands ,a zoo trip, and an excursion to our local fire station to visit our friend, Chip, who is a fireman.

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Firetruck Fashionista. I can’t imagine where she gets this level of sass from.

Everywhere we went the compliments were flying  and people wanted to know where the dress had come from.

And then there are the owls, Betty LOVES owls. One of her stuffed animals is a little owl whom she named ‘”Baby Hoot”. Her bath towel is an owl and since she was small(er) one of her favorite games to play is coming out of the bathroom after her bath saying “Where’s Betty?”

To which I say, “Oh I don’t know…all I see is a little owl.” Then she runs around the house yelling “HOOT HOOT!” and it’s exactly as precious as it sounds.

Anyway, I knew the owl-fit would be a hit. And it was.

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SERIOUSLY!?!?

We have here a pink top with an owl detailed pocked and owl print pants with pink ruffles at the bottom. And the owl headband. I wasn’t quite sure how it would go over because she’s not normally too keen on headbands, but as you can see she has no issue with this one.

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I know I’m her mom and biased and all that, but she is the cutest ever.

The owl outfit also came with a pretty sweet extra accessory:

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I’m a big fan of statement jewelry myself so don’t be surprised if you ever see a photo of me floating around wearing this necklace. Betty thinks it’s fit for a princess and I don’t disagree.

All the items we received are beautifully made and are a great fit with a little room to grow. I always like to size her clothes up just a bit becauseI never know when she’s about to hit another massive growth spurt. (She is already growing out of a size 10 pair of shoes I recently purchased for her. I didn’t know 3 year old feet were supposed to be that big.)

If you have a daughter or know someone that does, I encourage you to check out the Sparkle in Pink website! Just make sure you’re sitting down so as not to be knocked over by the overload of cute. 🙂

xo,

Salt

Sparkle in Pink provided me with two outfits for Betty and I to review. All opinions contained in this post are my own. (And Betty’s too…she loves them!)

Every Sunday evening should be just like this… {The Still Point Spa Mini-Retreat}

Between work and training and trying to keep my house from looking like it belongs on an episode of Hoarders, life can get really stressful. Recently I had been thinking a lot about doing some kind of spa day to give myself a chance to unwind a little. Then it was like the universe read my mind and dropped this little invitation right into my email inbox.

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Just in case you can’t read the fine print, it was an afternoon of mini treatments, treats, and my choice of a Yoga Wall or Barre Essence class. This event itself was hosted by the new Still Point Spa – just opened in December! – which has partnered with Haven on the Lake retreat  to bring you a one-of-a-kind relaxation and wellness experience.

This is a 30 minute drive from my house. It could have been three hours away and I still would have RSVP’ed “hell yeah”.

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Haven on the Lake is located on….wait for it…a LAKE in Columbia, Maryland. The view from outside was really quite beautiful.

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A running/fitness blog is not legit until you take pictures of your legs and feet. Mostly I took this just because my new Athleta pants rock.

I was so amped for this that I got there like 15 minutes ahead of schedule. I am habitually late but if I’m being promised a yoga class and a massage, you can be sure that I will be there early.

This place? Is GORGEOUS.

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The comfortable Haven lobby.

The Still Point is to the left when you walk in. They offer a wide variety of wellness services such as holistic skin care, acupuncture, massage, body treatments, and natural nails, but they also focus heavily on nutrition which is very different from any other spa I’ve visited. The Spa is immaculate, well appointed and smelled positively miraculous. They have their own signature scent that they developed and it is piped throughout. I wish my house smelled like it all the time.

The treatment rooms were all named after acupuncture points. I thought that was the most thoughtful little touch.

The treatment rooms were all named after acupuncture points. I thought that was the most thoughtful little touch.

Pedicure basins that can be fully sanitized after every use. They are VERY mindful of that sort of thing at The Still Point, which I can appreciate so much!

Pedicure basins that can be fully sanitized after every use. They are VERY mindful of that sort of thing at The Still Point, which I can appreciate so much!

As part of the mini-retreat I would get to choose from a menu of mini-services including ear seeds, chair massage, and a delicious sugar hand scrub. I still had some time before Yoga Wall – what with me getting there so early and everything – so I sat down for couple of these treatments before the class.

So…ear seeds .I had never heard of this before. It was being performed by a very friendly Still Point acupuncturist.  These very small seeds are from a Vaccaria plant. They are placed at acupuncture points on the ear and held in place with an adhesive tape. They can then be left in place for a number of days or until a small tree starts to grow out of your ear.

Obviously I’m kidding about that last part, but the acupuncturist did joke that one of the seeds was in a less visible place and not to miss it when I was removing them for that reason.

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Don’t they look like creepy little bugs!? This was actually really cool. As soon as she started adhering the seeds to my ear I felt more relaxed and calm. I am a big believer in acupuncture and have had a lot of success with it in the past. While the seeds are attached, you can manipulate them to stimulate those pressure points on your ear, which is thought to bring about feelings of well-being.

After I had the seeds planted in my ears, I moved on to the sugar scrub. There were three scrubs to choose from.

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The one in the back was some kind of lavender. The one in the front was grapefruit. The one in the middle smelled like chocolate brownies and I requested a spoon so I could eat it. It smelled phenomenal and obviously that would be the one I chose. A very friendly (are you sensing a trend here?) woman did my sugar scrub and it was wonderful. My hands felt great! Just in time for Yoga Wall!

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This was a little intimidating at first and difficult because my hands were still slippery from the sugar scrub (maybe I should have waited to do all that).

In some respects Yoga Wall is similar to aerial yoga that uses trapeze fabric in order to deepen certain stretches. We used these straps to assist us through postures such as Side Angle, Warrior 2, and Downward Dog, which also uses that strap you see on the floor next to the mats. There is a little ball at the end of the wall straps that allow them to be removed from their place on the wall and adjusted to different heights. Additionally the amount of slack you have on the loop in the strap can be adjusted allowing you to get deeper into a pose.

I was a little unsure and confused about it at first, but in the end I really liked it; especially when she told us we could invert. This was right up my alley! Leaning back against the large strap right about at sacrum level, we could walk up the wall and hang there with our feet in bound angle. It was wonderful. I love being upside down! I swear it makes me taller.

The class was abbreviated just to give us a taste of it, but I will most definitely be going back down to take a full class soon. I wish I had asked the instructor to take a picture.

Oh and also? Lauren from Breathe Deeply and Smile was in class with me, but I wasn’t sure if it was her or not and I’m so socially awkward that I didn’t say anything to her. Next time we see each other I promise to say hi! 🙂

Along with Yoga Wall, Haven on the Lake also offers yoga in about thirty additional forms from hot to restorative and even water yoga, a variety of barre classes (including WATER BARRE!? WHAT!?), reformer classes, fusion classes, and internal energy classes such as Tai Chi. I want to take them all.

My Still Point experience was rounded out with a chair massage:

They just about had to peel me off that chair.

They just about had to peel me off that chair. Soooo relaxed.

And an olive oil and vinegar tasting provided by a shop called Secolari.

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I will be the first one to admit that I’ve never thought much about olive oil and vinegar and how many different kinds of both of those things that exist. Some of the vinegars were so good that I could have drank them straight.

They gave me some bread though so I wouldn’t have to do that. They also gave me a gift certificate that I’m very excited to use!

Some other details about The Still Point and Haven on the Lake that had me sold:

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I was trying not to be too creepy taking pictures around the pool. I could sit in there all stay looking out at the beautiful lake!

This gorgeous pool area with whirlpools, a therapy pool, saunas, a 5 foot cold water plunge pool:

The ultimate ice bath.

The ultimate ice bath.

They also have a Halotherapy room, aka: crystal salt therapy which is an alternative medicine used for common ailments (sinus issues, allergy, asthma) and skin conditions such as acne.

And perhaps one of the best parts for a mom like me? They have childcare. I could literally go for an entire afternoon of treatments and Betty could hang out for up to 5 hours. It’s not like your run of the mill gym daycare either; they create a fun, nurturing environment for your child as well so you can enjoy yourself without worry.

This place is truly perfection: beautiful and relaxing. Everyone there couldn’t have been more welcoming and friendly!  I WILL be back to The Still Point and Haven on the Lake soon and I’ll be bringing friends!

If you are in the Columbia area or even willing to drive a bit,you HAVE to go by and check it out for yourself.

So are you ready to try a yoga wall class now? Have you ever gotten ear seeds? How delish does that sugar scrub look? Have you ever gotten in a cold plunge pool? (I really want to try it!)

xo,

Salt