Haiku Bags Spring 2015 Line ~ the Stride [Giveaway, Ended 4/2]

The Spring 2015 line from Haiku Bags is now available, with some great new designs being offered, and new fun colors!  If you aren't familiar with this brand, Haiku uses recycled material fabric to make cute bags with lots of convenient and well-designed features.  They find poetic inspiration for their designs from the beauty of natural landscapes, made to support your active life. Haiku Bags are durable, and their signature style is a combination of using high-performing fabrics, well-placed straps and pockets, detailed embroidery, and bold, energetic color.  New for Spring 2015 is the Haiku Bags Stride, which I've been using for a few weeks now.  Here's a little about it's features, and why you'll love this great little bag. Haiku Bags Stride The Haiku Bags Stride is an exciting addition to the Haiku lineup.  For all those times when you need a wallet... but also a few more vital items along, too!  Although the Stride's got a sleek profile, it has a pleasantly surprising … [Read more...]

Hiking With Babies and Toddlers ~ Child Carrier Tips

I've spent many fond hours hiking a trail, with my baby or even toddler children right along with me, in a child carrier on my back. This is an ideal activity for many reasons.  Babies and toddlers generally love being outside, and are so content when they are in motion. Hiking with them in a child carrier allows them to enjoy themselves, while you are also able to have fun and get some exercise in the process. We’ve hiked with a few different child carriers now, with a couple of different kids.  We've tried an inexpensive carrier, and a couple of higher-end styles, so can offer some feedback on each. Here are my child carrier tips and best advice from our experience in hiking with babies and toddlers over miles of terrain and with a variety of gear. (Note:  This is NOT a sponsored review post for a brand... just my authentic hiking mom advice!) When Can My Baby Start Riding in a Child Carrier? For safety reasons, it's always a good idea to check the manufacturers … [Read more...]

Eagle Creek Pack-It™ Specter Cube Set [Giveaway, Ended 11/5]

Have you joined the world of packing cubes? All the rage right now, their purpose is to help keep you organized and facilitate the goal of packing light. In this new day and age of paying to check bags, traveling light becomes more and more appealing.  So I was looking forward to trying them out on my recent Coca-Cola Blogging Conference trip. I’ve seen two styles of packing cubes: mesh or fabric.  Mesh offers the advantage of seeing your contents easily, fabric excels in ease of gliding items in and out. The Pack-It™ Specter Cube Set I tried out from Eagle Creek offers the best of both.  Made from an extremely light fabric, they are also quite transparent.  This makes them nicer for handling, and again – sliding things in and out.  But you can also get a pretty good idea of the contents from the external view. These weigh next to nothing.  The zippers, seams, and material are all of good quality construction.  I particularly liked the handle on the end of each - which … [Read more...]

Stonewear Designs Olympia Top – My Soft, Reliable Friend

We weren’t always enamored with each other, right from the start.  But now our relationship has grown, our mutual respect and affection deepened and even flourished over time. For whatever reason, when I first tried on my Stonewear Designs Olympia Top it wasn’t what I was expecting.  On me, the top half is fitted (and I’m not overly busty) but the bottom half spread out loosely, almost in a bell shape.  As my other Stonewear fitness tops were … well, more “fitted”, at the bottom – I didn’t know quite what to make of this. And then came the episode of my Olympia Mishap, which I will relate in hope that you can learn from my lapse in judgement.  Thinking I could shrink the lower half into being slightly more fitted, I disregarded the laundry instructions (which call for line drying) and put mine in the dryer. The unfortunate result was that it shrunk in length.  Oops.  Now I’m a tall girl, with a long torso.  So this meant that back slit (which is such a cute design) now hits … [Read more...]

Easy Italian Meals with Bertolli – Giveaway [Ended 10/4]

Buongiorno! Do you love easy meal ideas?  How does some quick & delicious Italian food sound?  Bertolli has an entire line of frozen meals, and have recently introduced a new, very tasty option:  Bertolli Classic Risottos. Bertolli Classic Risottos - "Molto Delizioso!" Yes, that's Italian for "very delicious"! We were already fans of Bertolli, but they have really knocked it out of the park with these new Risotto meals.  There are currently two flavors available: Roasted Chicken & Mushroom Garlic Shrimp No fancy kitchen tools needed to prepare this Italian delicacy.  Bertolli has taken the guesswork and labor out of preparing risotto from scratch. Especially for rushed work/school/week night meals, I'm a huge fan of anything this easy.  Open package.  Pour into pan.  Heat pan over stove for 12 minutes.  That's what I'm talking about. We tried Roasted Chicken & Mushroom first.  We cheated a little, since my husband had already grilled some chicken … [Read more...]