review: ergobaby 360 baby carrier

I love baby wearing.  It’s so easy and practical.  Plus LJ loves being able to see the world for a different point of view.ergobabym&l

Ergobaby recently came out with a new carrier – the Four Position 360.  I was intrigued, especially since LJ was outgrowing his other baby carrier.  What I loved most – and different from other carriers – is that I can wear LJ four ways (most carriers are two ways).    The Four Position 360 Baby Carrier provides four comfortable and ergonomic ways to wear baby: Front-Inward, Front-Outward, Hip and Back carry positions. You should see LJ front-outward facing when we’re at Whole Foods or Target; he’s seriously funny and knows how to get the attention of the whole store (he’s such a ham).

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I knew the Ergo would be great for quick, every day events: errands, grocery shopping, house work, walks around the neighborhood. But could it function – both from a fit and comfort perspective – on more rigorous adventures? I decided to put the Ergo 360 to the test!  A couple of weeks ago our family ventured to Shenandoah National Park for a  a four mile hike and I decided it would be best (and easiest) to wear LJ.

We started the hike with LJ in the back carry position.  It was so comfortable, for both of us, that LJ fell asleep 15 minutes into the hike!  He slept for about 40 minutes and seemed snug (as a bug in a rug) for the entirety of his nap.  After his nap, I moved him to front -outward facing so he could see what was going on: colors, trees, animals, etc.  He didn’t get upset once and liked both positions.  I would say that back facing was more comfortable for me during the hike (but that would be true about any carrier; I mean, it makes sense that you wear a backpack on your back).  Another great feature, is that the Ergo is breathable and fairly lightweight; we didn’t get hot once, even in the heat of the summer.  Overall, the Ergo withstood the test.

{why ergo 360}

  • Correct Baby Ergonomics Babies will always be in an ergonomic frog-leg, seated position with knees even to or above hips, and spine in curved “C” position
  • Maximum parent comfort (from petite moms to dads)
  • Versatility with four wearing positions
  • Baby weight range: 7- 33lbs (newborn with infant insert)

{where to buy}
I ordered my Ergobaby 360 from authorized dealer, Maison Drake.  Maison Drake offers everything for baby, child, and mother. I’ve ordered quite a few things from MD; customer service is wonderful and orders arrive quickly (which is what I need when I’m ordering something for LJ!).  Plus, there are so many great brands to choose from (a few of my favorites: Aden & Anais, Milkmakers (when I don’t make my own lactation cookies), Chewbeads, and more).

Use code MDSAVE15 to receive 15% off your first order (Ergobaby included in this deal)

I can’t say enough good things about the Ergo 360.  If you’re a babywearing pro, or new to the art of wearing your baby, the Ergobaby 360 is the way to go. You’ll love being able to move baby around based on activity, age, or comfort- and it’s so easy to use!

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And Maison Drake:
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For full disclosure, I won my Ergo 360 from Maison Drake.  MD was hosting a pre-order special; for every customer that pre-ordered the Ergo 360, they were entered to win it for free.  I pre-ordered and was lucky enough to win my carrier for free.  I was in no way obligated to write a post about the Ergobaby 360 – but loved it so much that I wanted to share my experience.  Opinions are my own.

 

recipe: lactation cookies

I love breastfeeding LJ!  It’s one of favorite things about being a mom, I love the uninterrupted one-on-one time with him.  Just the two of us.  But with the introduction of more solids into his diet, and some mild stress on my part, I noticed a slight decrease in supply.  When I only pumped one ounce during a recent pump (and normally get 4 ounces), I kinda freaked.

So I did what any crazed-want-to-breastfeed-my-baby-at-least-one-year new mom would do.  I headed to the kitchen and whipped up a batch of lactation cookies.  Good news, they taste just like the real thing.

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Keep in mind, you will need a couple of “secret” and not-available at your local grocery store items.  I suggest buying all items before trying to make these; you don’t want to get through half the recipe and realize you don’t have Brewer’s Yeast (aka milk-making magic).

Ingredients   image

{wet}
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp flax seed (ground)
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 eggs (I use cage & antibiotic free from Whole Foods)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp maple syrup
*mix water & ground flax seed together in a small bowl and mixture let sit while combining all other wet ingredients

{dry}
2 cups oat flour (found at Whole Foods)
4-5 tbsp Brewer’s Yeast (this is the magic so I like to add 5)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

{the sweet stuff}
3 cups rolled oats
1 package semi-sweet
1/2 cup coconut (optional)
1/2 walnuts (optional)

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl, mix water & ground flax seed together; set aside (about 5 minutes).  Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl, also add flax seed mixture .  In another bowl, stir dry ingredients together.  Combine everything (wet & dry) in large bowl and add the “sweet stuff”.

Lightly spray a cookie sheet with Olive Oil/Pam spray.  Spoon balls of cookie mixture onto the cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are a golden brown.  Let cookies cool completely before serving.

Enjoy (and happy milk-making)!

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{flash giveaway} SoulCycle class pass

For 24 hours, enter to win a free class pass to SoulCycle DC ($30 value).  Must be able to use the class pass at the DC location.

Comment below to win: what’s your favorite workout & why?Entrance

More ways to win -

Follow on Twitter:

@soulcycle
@run4margaritas

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winner will be announced tomorrow 7/22/2014 at 5pm EST and notified via email.

 

For more running and SOUL, follow me:
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SoulCycle in the Nation’s Capitol

SoulCycle, the country’s premier indoor cycling studio will open its first studio in Washington D.C. this August.  As a fitness enthusiast, I couldn’t be more excited!  SoulCycle is all the rage in NYC – and I can’t wait to experience the same workout in my hometown.

At over 3,000 square feet, SoulCycle D.C. features a 55-bike studio and a SOUL retail boutique, selling SoulCycle’s original clothing collection. Additional rider amenities include showers, bathrooms and a locker area. SoulCycle D.C. is located at 2301 M Street NW (Georgetown).  If you work in the city, there’s no excuse not to try a class – the amenities are perfect for those on-the-go.

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The SoulCycle Experience:

SoulCycle is a motivating, joyful, full-body indoor cycling dance party on a bike. SoulCycle was founded on the belief that fitness could be inspiring: with a motivational workout, a beautiful environment and outstanding customer service, each 45-minute class is a transformative experience.

Co-founded by Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice, SoulCycle opened its first location in New York City in 2006. By combining a unique mental component of inspirational coaching, with great music, and a full-body workout on a bike, SoulCycle immediately reinvented indoor-studio cycling and simultaneously innovated boutique cardio fitness in the marketplace.

Today, over 8,000 riders take SoulCycle classes everyday to release stress, burn fat, tone muscle, and change their bodies and lives.  At SoulCycle riders burn calories, and tone their upper bodies using hand weights and core-engaging choreography. The SoulCycle brand experience is high energy, results-oriented, and community based. The exercise program focuses on rhythm and the “energy of the pack,” which creates a strong bond between riders. Familiar faces in SoulCycle studios include Oprah, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Olivia Wilde, David Beckham, and Bradley Cooper (hashtag, celebrity citing)

For more information on SoulCycle, visit https://www.soul-cycle.com/ or on Twitter @soulcycle

 

Do you have SOUL?  Have you ever taken a SOUL class?  Share your experience!

i run. do you?

I grew up running.  It’s what I know better than anything else.  Running is always there.  That’s why I love running so much.

Running is a lot of things to me.

My mom was a runner, and I wanted to be just like my mom.

Running led me to my husband, BJ.  We met at a local fun run – and he even proposed on a run!

Running has taken me through New Zealand (Queenstown, Blenheim, Fox Glacier, Auckland, Waiheke Island), Panama, Paris, Frankfurt, Brazil, Brussels, Argentina…New York City, Boston, San Francisco, LA, Chicago, Sun Valley, Boise, Washington DC…over the Golden Gate Bridge, through vineyards, up and over Heartbreak Hill, around the National Mall, starting at Mt. Hood and finishing on the Coast of Seaside…

Running paid for (most of) college.

Running introduced me to some of my best friends.

Running carried me through my first pregnancy – and I even ran a race at 7 months!

Running has humbled me.  Many times.

Running has me pushing a running stroller with LJ – and embracing my new role as mother runner.

Running started as a 50m sprint and has (slowly) increased over the years: 100m, 200m, 400m (+ hurdles), 5k, 10k, 10 mile, Half Marathon, Marathon.

Running pays my bills.  Literally.  I get paid to run.

Running lets me indulge in margaritas. wine. ice cream. chocolate.  I could go on…

Running gave me the opportunity to meet some running greats: Bill Rodgers,Desi Davilla, Christy Wellington, Scott Jurek, Nick Symmonds, Josh Cox.

Running keeps me healthy and happy.

I love running.  Happy National Running Day. 

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Do you run?  Tell me what you love about running?

 

For more running and margaritas, follow me:
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six months postpartum {mother’s day edition}

betsey darley photography - Google Chrome 592014 115155 AM.bmpEveryone says it, but its true.  It goes by so fast.

I can’t believe LJ is six months old.  Half a year.  Now I know why people keep having kids!

LJ has changed my life.  I mean, life was good before, but now it’s even better.  Who knew?!  He’s funny and has the best personality.  Every day it’s something new, a new discovery, it’s like I’m seeing the world from a new set of eyes.  I love it.

LJ loves laughing. sweet potatoes. yoga with mommy. long walks. books. playing “under the sea”. being a sous chef. putting his feet in the grass. airplane trips. grabbing his toes and sticking them in his mouth.

As for me, I’m feeling good.  I had a healthy – and pretty easy – pregnancy.  With breastfeeding, lots of walking, and the occasional run, I’m a little less than pre-pregnancy weight.  Things are still a little more squishy than I remember, but I know I’ll get there.  All in due time.  I feel like I’m learning something new – about life and myself – everyday.

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Here’s what I’ve learned in the last six months:

  • I had no idea could function on such little sleep.  Don’t get me wrong, most days I feel like a zombie.  But at least I’m a functioning one.
  • If you can, breastfeeding is the way to go.  I love the time I get to spend with LJ.  It’s special to me.  Our time to bond.
  • Listen to your body.  I thought I was going to start running the second I was cleared by the doctor.  Instead, I waited another 8 weeks before I attempted to run.  It worked for me.  I know what works for me might not work for you but honor your body.  It’s been through a lot!
  • My life is completely and totally different now – and I love it.  And not just because I’m not going to happy hour anymore.
  • Write things down, take pictures, write your baby a love note.  You think you’ll never forget anything.  But you do.  Not because you don’t want to remember but because there’s so much that happens in one year, month, week, day that you can’t possibly remember everything.
  • Being a mom is the most wonderful, miraculous blessing in the entire world.

And as I approach (and celebrate) my first Mother’s Day, I couldn’t be more thankful for all of the beautiful blessings in my life.  Happy Mother’s Day, moms.  It’s amazing to feel what my mom felt for so many years!

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What did you learn after having a baby?

 

For more motherhood and margaritas, follow me:
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*We love Betsey Darley Photography.  If you live in DC Metro, check out her work.

must-have margarita

Today is cinco de mayo and (I hope) you know what that means.  It’s margaritas for me.

If you want a delicious – but healthy version – you must try my {must have margarita}

must-have margarita
1 shot Tequila (I prefer Patron)
Juice from 2 limes
Juice from ruby red grapefruit (half)
Club soda
Lime wedge
Salt
Chili power

Mix tequila, lime juice, grapefruit juice, and club soda together and shake. Rub glass rim with lime wedge; mix salt/chili powder together and dip glass in salt mixture. Pour margarita over ice, squeeze lime wedge into margarita.

Pair it with guacamole and pico de gallo and you have the perfect cinco de mayo celebration!

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Enjoy!

For more recipes and margaritas, follow me:
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vino & vinyasa at blue nectar yoga

Calling all Moms (especially if you live in DC or Northern Virginia):

Need a Moms Night Out?!  Join me tomorrow night, April 29, for Vino & Vinyasa at Blue Nectar Yoga in Falls Church City.  Instructor and co-owner, Jane Bahneman will lead us through an all levels yoga class (vinyasa flow) followed by Vino and shopping in the BNY Bluetique!  Enjoy 15% off all ZUM products and PaddyWax products, 10% of Jade products, and 4Love Clothing will debut  handmade one-of-a-kind Love Wraps.

Don’t be shy – even if you have never done yoga before you, I encourage you to join in on the fun!  I’m looking to meet like-minded mamas, and who doesn’t love wine and working out?!  This event is open to any and all area moms (or expectant moms).

{the deets}
What: Moms Night Out Vino and Vinyasa!
When: Tuesday, April 29 at Blue Nectar Yoga Studio
Time: 7:30-9:30pm (flow six five from 7:30-8:30; wine and shopping from 8:30 – 9:30)
Cost: $10.00 pre-register (requested) & $15.00 walk-ins (if space allows)

Visit Blue Nectar Yoga online for more info

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For more miles, motherhood, and margaritas, follow me:
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For more yoga and events (wine may be involved), follow BNY:
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Blog: www.bluenectaryoga.wordpress.com 

 

 

 

 

For Two Fitness Anniversary Giveaway

I love For Two Fitness!  It’s pretty much all I wore during my pregnancy.  I mean, how clever is “Running for Two” or “Yoga for Two”?!  I loved wearing my “Running for Two” tank while running at 9 months pregnant.  I was the subject of many “You go Girl” or “Get it Mama” – it always put a little pep in my (very slow) running step!

Running a 5k at 7 months pregnant!

Running a 5k at 7 months pregnant!

For Two Fitness is celebrating an anniversary and they are celebrating US – the community, customers, and friends.  And as a way to say “Thank You”, FTF is hosting a HUGE giveaway! The Grand Prize is valued over $600, and two lucky ladies will also receive runner-up gift bundles. FTF has everything, from apparel to accessories to nutrition and body care – all facets of your healthy mom lifestyle are in this prize pack!

For Two Fitness Giveaway

There will be three winners: one grand prize winner will win everything you see listed here, and two other lucky ladies will win generous prizes from us and many of the sponsoring brand partners. Here are some details about the amazing products that have been generously donated for you to win and enjoy:

Grand Prize Giveaway items:

2 Sarah Haley Fit DVDs Expecting More and Sweat Unlimited — prenatal and postpartum workout DVDs for fit mamas and mamas-to-be.
Kind Bars — 25 bar gift box of healthy snacks to fuel your day, with healthy ingredients you can see and pronounce.
Maclaren Beginnings care products — generous gift bundle of oils, lotions, shampoos, and nursery/powder room products for both mama and baby.
GNC – a three month supply of prenatal vitamins.
Happy Family Brands — baby and toddler foods for your little ones.
For Two Fitness racerback tank and pair of pants or capris
Baby K’tan — stylish carrier to aid in hands-free baby-wearing.
Zensah — 2 sets of must-have compression leg sleeves. Relieve leg fatigue, increase circulation, reduce varicose veins, and get fresh legs.

Visit http://fortwofitness.com/blog/2014/04/for-two-fitness-anniversary-giveaway/ for your chance to win big!

Apera Bags review & giveaway

I’m a fitness-runner-yogi-traveling mother on the go.  And that means I need a bag to carry it all: a pair of capris, running shoes, yoga mat, water bottle, diapers, wipes, wubanub, you name it.  A bag that carries e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. isn’t so easy to find.  I love my Marc Jacobs diaper bag, but a Marc Jacobs diaper bag isn’t always for the yoga studio-gym-airplane-trunk of my car days.  So, after months of searching and eyeing the Yoga Tote from Apera, I was thrilled when they sent me a tote to test out and review.

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yogaThe Yoga Tote is perfect for my yoga studio-long walk-business meeting-traveling to San Francisco-diaper bag days.  Seriously, I love it. I knew I’d love it for yoga, after all it’s appropriately named the Yoga Tote –but I didn’t realize how much I’d love it for everything else.  For life.   LJ and I go to Mommy & Me yoga at least once/week.  This bag is great for stashing all of my yoga essentials, plus everything I need for the little guy.  However, I was pleasantly surprised with its versatility.  A few weeks ago I had a business meeting that ended with a run; I needed my laptop and notebook, plus all of my winter running gear.  And just last week, I used the Yoga tote for our cross-country trip to San Francisco; it worked as my purse and LJ’s diaper bag.  While the Yoga tote is great for, well, yoga, it’s also really great for other things, too.  Like, travel, life, gym, yoga, laptop bag, work tote, diaper bag, and more. Here’s what else I love.  Apera bags are design to be healthier – with built-in antimicrobial product protection to inhibit the growth of bacterial odors, separation of your wet, sweaty gear from your dry stuff, and venting air to keep your bag dry and suppress odor.  (I wonder if it works for diapers, too?!)

  • Antimicrobial Product Protection
  • Vented Compartments
  • Wipeable Linings
  • Washable Insert

At $120 the Yoga Tote may seem a little pricey – but it’s totally worth the price.  It’s versatile.  You can use the bag for anything (reference above if you need more information or convincing).  And it’s really stylish and cute (plus I’m a sucker for the fuchsia).

Do you want one?!

I have some good news for you… I’m hosting a {giveaway}.

One lucky reader will have a chance to win the Sprint Pack and includes a code worth 25% off any other Apera bag.  The Sprint pack is light, active, and inspired.

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Monthly Apera Giveaway: Apera gives away one free bag/month.  All you need to do is sign up for the email newsletter by providing your email address at the bottom of the website. At the conclusion of each month, Apera randomly draws one name from the subscribers in the email newsletter database and selects a winner.

Sale: Apera is offering 40% OFF the entire Blue line of bags.  Any style of Blue bag will be 40% OFF, including the Yoga Tote.  Also, all of theDuffel Packs, any color, are 40% OFF too.  For more information and to order yours, visit: www.aperabags.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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disclaimer: I was given the Yoga Tote free of charge.  Opinions are my own.