Wednesday, June 24, 2015

CEP Dynamic No-Show Compression Socks

When I was first contacted to review these CEP No-Show Compression Socks, I wondered... how could a compression sock be no-show???

Years ago, I purchased the CEP Compression Sleeves, and to this day, they are pretty much my go-to compression gear with the best tightness without being too tight.

These CEP Dynamic No-Show Compression Socks are pretty much what's missing from the sleeves, namely, the sock!  In theory, you could wear these socks and the compression sleeves and let your ankles breathe.  They come in male and female varieties in several different colors, although I usually default to black to remain low-key.  Okay, so I might have also had an ambition of wearing them to the office, but that hasn't happened yet.

They also come in a few different sizes -- after all, if you are going to find a good fit for your foot, there must be some choice in the matter (especially if you have wider feet like me, size up!).  They also are foot specific (left and right) to get the best fit possible.

The socks are supportive indeed.  I don't have much of an arch, but what I do have needs support.  Also, since the sock fits really well, I don't need to worry about blistering as much with these.  Also, you won't find little sweaty cotton bits on your foot.  It's middle-of-the-road when it comes to thickness, so it's neither too thick nor thin, with just a bit of cushioning.

Speaking of compression gear and all that, I'm happy to update that I've still been meeting my exercise goals for now.  Although there are still nights that I'm up for an hour or more, overall, setting aside that brief time on most days has helped me feel more balanced, sane, kind, happy, [insert pretty much every other positive feeling in here] and in general has helped me sleep better when I'm given the chance.  I can feel myself getting stronger, and I find myself maintaining better eating habits automatically in the process.  A little activity is worth its weight in gold!

FTC Disclaimer: I was provided a sample of this product but was not otherwise compensated to provide a positive review.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Jane Rider Stroller Review

My first attempt at exercising after baby was going on afternoon walks with the stroller while Baby Tuesday napped.  Even now, when I'm pushing around a far less sleepy baby, I think back to the early days with some nostalgia.

The first few months, I was clipping the car seat into a very heavy stroller that I will probably review later.  Even as the baby got bigger, I didn't want to eliminate the extra weight of the car seat because otherwise, he'd have to face forward, and I was (and still kind of) not ready for that.

Enter the Jane Rider.

For full disclosure, I am a Jane Brand Ambassador, so I was sent one of these guys to try out.  I really love this stroller because it's light and can face in or out (with adjustable inclines for each mode).  It is made out of quality materials without extra flame retardant chemicals, and I can imagine it lasting through multiple babies if I ever get over the trauma and go that route.  Plus, it folds easily and is shock-absorbing, which is very important for stroller naps!
A rainy stroll.
Mine came with a rain cover -- super useful! -- and a diaper bag, which is currently being used as a laptop bag because our diaper bag is packed for the apocalypse and would not transfer.  It also comes with a bassinet attachment for naps and smaller babies.  We also have an adapter that we can use to put the carseat in the stroller for the few times we do need to do a non-disruptive transfer.  I definitely default to this stroller whenever possible, because it folds up nicely, even in the house.

The Jane Rider retails for $750 (the older models are a couple of hundred bucks cheaper if you can find them), so yes, it's on the higher end of the spectrum.  Thinking back, our lug of a stroller before was over half the price, and I can already tell it isn't built to last like this one is.  As a European company, they are building their U.S. presence, and their products are starting to appear in places like Buy Buy Baby and Babies R Us.
FTC Disclaimer: I am a brand ambassador for this company and received a product free of charge but was not otherwise compensated to provide a positive review.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


I am officially starting to feel consistently sore from working out.  I wasn't doing it consistently or hard enough to feel this before, but it makes me feel ambivalent. 

The positive: something (not sure what) is happening and that I'm on my way to progress.  The negative: things that were a breeze for me before are causing days of soreness, meaning that I've fallen off the wagon... and the wagon backed up and made a second round.

I've been trying to stretch, eat more protein, and better things in general, though it's a work in progress.  For example, I've had this bottle of greens at my desk forever, and I finally started drinking it.  It tastes okay, pretty grassy and a tiny bit sweet due to Stevia, and I think I need some time to work up to the full teaspoon dose.  Still, it's a great way to start off the morning and the virtue of greens keeps me from diving into something totally unhealthy for breakfast.

From their representative:

PINES truly provides the closest alternative to a fresh green vegetable in the marketplace today. They’ve been leading the way for almost 40 years, unsurpassed in quality from the seed to the shelf. All PINES products are:
  • USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, RAW, Gluten-Free, OU Kosher.
  • Harvested at the optimum growth stage, below 10” tall (jointing stage), to ensure the highest nutrient levels (many other competitors offer “flag grass” which is harvested after the jointing stage and literally drained of its nutritional content).
  • Grown in mineral-rich glacial soil using natural rainwater – NOT irrigation water, which can be contaminated with non-organic farm chemicals and animal waste.
  • The only wholefood wheatgrass producer to use stainless steel milling equipment resulting in an extremely clean product.
  • The only wheatgrass superfood packaged in oxygen-free, amber glass bottles with specially designed metal caps to remove oxygen and provide food as fresh as the day it was made.
  • 5-year shelf life.
  • ONLY Non-GMO Project Verified Alfalfa current available anywhere!

Anyway, I bet you're wondering what I've been doing that has been making me sore, and the short answer is, pretty much everything from 2/3 mile runs, Insanity, squats, the ab machine... everything.  I remember walking at the zoo with Baby Tuesday in the carrier, and even THAT did it.  Okay, so it was a hilly zoo, but still.
Instant squat weight.

Given that I don't think my workout duration will increase, I can only work on intensity and variety... and maybe frequency.  I'm not sure what kinds of fitness gains I will make, but I still have about 5 pounds of pregnancy weight to lose... probably more like 10 because of muscle loss.  That's pretty intimidating, but I think it's a more attainable goal than, say, running a marathon. ;)

FTC Disclaimer: I was sent a sample of this product and was not otherwise compensated to provide a positive review.