Monday, November 28, 2016

Beginning the Holidays with a Review Round-Up

The holidays are upon us, and consumerism is now at its peak.  I am not ashamed to admit that I love holiday shopping, especially now that I have nieces and nephews, and yes, a lot of that shopping are gifts to myself. 

I usually save a lot of self-related purchases for this time of year.  I know deals can be found all year long, but I am often not in the mood to shop during the year.  Also, I usually just stock up on things that pretty much last me until this time for year, anyway.

Anyway, along with the backlog of shopping, I also have a backlog of product reviews, some of which would make great gifts for yourself or someone else this holiday season.  I will try to summarize some of my favorite gear of all time in a formal holiday post soon, but I'll start with the below:

Wimi Patella Knee System

I am not sure if it was the turning 31, having a baby, or stopping my glucosamine, but my right knee has been particularly finicky over the past several months.  One off-step causes a sharp pain followed by soreness, so this is one of the many factors that has kept me from running as much as I would like.  Earlier in the year, I had a similar issue with my wrist (which got so severe that it was limiting my daily activities), and I ended up buying a wearing a brace for several weeks before I felt normal again.  So when I was offered to try this knee brace, I figured, why not?

This system comes with a supporting knee sleeve and Velcro brace.  It took me a while to figure out how to get this on, but I think I did okay.  I think the sleeve is fine to wear while running, etc., but the whole system together is probably best-suited to more stationary activities such as weight-lifting, as it's slightly bulky to me.  Maybe it's just that I'm not used to wearing anything like this.  However, when I am wearing it, it does keep me from jerking my knee.

Hana by Xero Shoes

I've reviewed Xero shoes before -- a sandal, which I still wear because it's light, flexible, and stays on my feet.  When I heard that they released a closed-toe shoe, I was excited to try them.  Technically, this is a men's shoe, but I understand that a women's version is not too far behind.  While not a running shoe, per say, they are light and flexible enough to be move around.  I've worn them my fair share of times chasing my kid around, and they also look presentable enough to pass as a fashionable casual shoe.  This combination of comfort and style are important to me since I'm always in a rush.  The soles are minimal, so it really does give you the feeling of being barefoot.

Babytime by Episencial Mighty Shield Bug Repellent

I've been sitting on reviewing this product for a while, since summer.  However, my area has had an uptick in mosquitos, due to the hot weather we had, and per some conversation with friends, they are possibly here to stay.  Thus, it's nice to have this DEET-free bug-repellent for my son when we can't exactly cover him up.
I think the hardest thing about bug repellents is remembering to put them on, so I try to keep this next to the sunscreen if we are going to be out late outdoors or going to someplace that I expect to be "buggy."  It has a slight greasy feel (like sunscreen) but otherwise isn't bothersome.
Finally, I received some Mamma Chia products to try.  My son loves pouches, so these are a perfect way to sneak chia into his diet (I also put chia in oatmeal).  I also like slurping these up if I'm feeling particularly dehydrated.  Since the chia seeds are in liquid, they are not hard at all and kind of like very, very small tapioca balls.
The bars are chewy and good for deterring hunger.  I found I could only eat half at a time because I guess my normal fiber intake isn't enough to accustom my stomach to a whole bar.

FTC Disclaimer: I was provided samples of the products listed above but was not otherwise compensated to provide a positive opinion.

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