Tag Archives: music

Thinking Out Loud: Still a Thing

It’s been so long since I did a Thinking Out Loud post that I wasn’t even sure if Amanda’s link-up was still a thing. But I had no overall theme for a post today, just random stuff, so I thought I’d check. Sure enough, Thinking Out Loud Thursdays are still going strong, so that’s what you get today.

I did something I never thought I’d do: start wearing a Fitbit. It was gifted to me by a friend and I figured, why not give this a shot? I normally make a point of avoiding numbers. I don’t look at nutrition labels, I cover up the torque and RPM in Flywheel, and I’ve never had interest in wearing a heart rate monitor during my workouts. But I’ve also been doing a good job ignoring numbers when they are put right in front of me (like when I housed Shake Shack last weekend despite the calorie counts blatantly being posted on the menu board). So I set it up last week.

So far I like wearing it. I do feel a little guilty when I don’t hit my step goal, but to be honest, the Fitbit Flex is not that accurate when it comes to tracking overall activity. For example I wore it during a CorePower Yoga Sculpt class, which is one of the hardest workouts I have EVER done, and afterward the app stated I’d only been active 19 minutes. Excuse me? That was an hour long workout in a 96 degree room. I may not have hit my step goal that day, but I know and am confident that I definitely hit my own personal activity goal, and did not let numbers tell me otherwise. It is fun though to try to hit step goals or just realize how many steps it takes for me to take normal routes, like from work to home.


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Five Things Friday: Yup, It’s Me Again!

Happy Friday! Three days of posting this week – a recent record for sure. But I’ve had more downtime thanks to learning my lesson last week about wearing myself out. I was home last night after work for awhile – enough time to write a blog post, watch an episode of Breaking Bad (STILL working on season 4), and catch up on my celeb gossip on E! News (my favorite mindless TV). But I’m getting ahead of myself – Five Things Friday hasn’t even begun yet. It will after Clare‘s charming graphic:

Oooh. Aaah. Link up!

1. Everyone should listen to this amazing song and take its message to heart. EVEN if you’re not a fan of country music or the show Nashville. The song is about not throwing away all the beautiful gifts you have been given. Often I listen to it whenever I’m feeling tempted to restrict, base my self worth on my appearance, or just hate myself in general. In the worst of my eating disorder I was throwing away everything I’d been born with and all I’d worked for my whole life. This is the kind of song that can pull me out of a funk and make me re-evaluate what’s REALLY important in life.

2. My left shin has REALLY been bugging me. I’ll see how my new shoes (post to come on those next week!) help the situation but I don’t think I can shrug off the left shin pain I’ve been feeling during my runs any longer. Even though I haven’t done a “long run” in almost two weeks now, I still am feeling it both during and after my runs, no matter the distance. I’ve been running 3-4 days a week since I started training so I think that next week I’m going to do just 2 runs. Hopefully that, plus my new running sneakers, will send improvement my way. If not I will have to get serious about the left shin pain because I don’t want an  injury sidelining me from the half marathon, or fitness in general.

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Friday Five: All the Topics

Thanks for the well wishes on my belated two-year blogiversary post yesterday! Your comments never fail to make me say “aw, shucks”.

I have a thousand ideas for posts bouncing around in my head and a bunch of stuff to talk about so how about I just do a Friday Five? That way I can talk about five of all the things. Killing five birds with one stone, or five topics with one blog post for the PETA-members out there.

1. The Onyx Moonshine Gatsby Ball is tonight!

I go to a lot of events and I can’t remember the last time I was this excited for one. Onyx is an awesome local company I have worked with since I started my blog and I was thrilled to be invited to their Moonshine Ball & Onyx 111 Infusion Challenge tonight at the Wadsworth Mansion at Long Hill in Middletown (where Kaitlin is getting married next year!). I’ve got a flapper dress and fedora packed to change into after the gym, and am ready for some yummy eats from Wood-n-Tap. Some great restaurants (Krust and Pond House Grill for example) are participating in the infusion challenge, which uses the newer Onyx 111 proof. I and other guests will get a chance to try and vote on the infusions, and local foodie judges will make the final decision as to which restaurant will be crowned champion! I am attending with Kat and am so excited to dance the night away!


This is the dress! This pic was taken in June 2009 – I have gotten great wear out of the dress for several Halloween/costume events and many friends have borrowed it and done the same! Best thing is it cost about $20 from Forever 21.

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Another Sprigs Review and Giveaway: Banjees!

I recently (as in last week!) posted a review and giveaway for Earbags, AKA bandless earmuffs, by Sprigs. This company creates original, often fitness-focused products based on currently unfulfilled needs. That fact was demonstrated to me clearly when I received another of their products to test out and review, the Big Banjees Wrist Wallet.

I have seriously been looking for an effective arm iPhone holder to use at the gym for a few years now. I have tried adjustable arm bands before, but they simply never stay in place, even at their tightest adjustment. The Banjees running wallet interested me because of the availability of a design big enough to hold an iPhone that is still in its case. Other running wallets I’ve tried that claim to fit an iPhone have not fit the phone with the case still on. Taking the case on and off is, though minor, an inconvenience. Sprigs promised me the Big model of Banjees would indeed meet my need for a running wallet that would hold my iPhone, case in all, and stay in place.

Just like Earbags, Banjees come in a variety of designs and fabrics. Of course I had to choose a print! Also available are reversible, fleece, organic cotton, and recyclable versions!

Oh you fancy huh?

I’ve never been shy about the fact that I don’t really like running, so you guys might be confused as to why I’ve been in the market for an effective running wallet. Well, you don’t’ have to be running to use one! I actually wanted to try the Banjees because tucking my iPhone into my waistband or sports bra while lifting weights to music (gotta have the music factor) has been super annoying. What better way to test out the Banjees than by using it during one of my fave fitness activities – arm day!

Taking a photo with a phone of a product that is holding your phone is quite difficult!

The verdict is two dumbbells up for the Big Banjees Wrist Wallet! After I took the above photo, I ended up sliding it all the way up to my bicep; this is where I’ve been wearing it since. I honestly use it every time I strength train now. The Banjees doesn’t budge from its perch on my arm and the wallet portion is the perfect size for my phone in my case. I wiggle it into the slot and it stays firmly secure there until I take it out.

The only annoying part of using it is having to take it out of the slot to change the song/check my phone/adjust volume/etc. #fitnessproblems – certainly not a dealbreaker and I’d rather have a convenient place to hold my strength training music than keep putting my phone in my waistband or sports bra. Though the latter place leaves it more easily accessible for music adjustments, it means more to me to have a way to get the iPhone out of my way so that it doesn’t interfere with my weights sessions.

This is where I wear the Banjees  on my arm when I lift weights – you’re looking at a satisfied blogger!

Promo Code

Just like with Earbags, Sprigs is offering Cait Plus Ate readers a promo code to use when purchasing Banjees! The code is “CaitBanjees” and will get you 10% off a purchase up to $29.99 or 20% off a purchase $30 and up. The code expires 12/31/12 – perfect for Christmas shopping for others OR yourself 😉 – and the Earbags promo code is good until 12/17/12 too!


Sprigs is doing another giveaway for you guys – one lucky Cait Plus Ate reader will win a Banjees of his or her choice! Ways to enter are similar to the Earbags giveaway, and the entries close at 11:59PM EST this Thursday 11:59PM. Continental US only please! Leave a separate comment for each form of entry or multiple entries won’t count!

  1. Check out the Banjees selection on Sprigs.com and comment on this post telling me which Banjees you’d want most! (mandatory)
  2. Follow @CaitPlusAte on Twitter and comment here saying you did.
  3. Follow @Sprigsville on Twitter and comment here saying you did.
  4. Tweet “I entered to win a @Sprigsville Banjees running wallet from @CaitPlusAte! #fitfluential #fitgear http://wp.me/p1SfTW-1HN” and comment here with the link to the tweet.

General Giveaway Rules: No Purchase Necessary. This giveaway is only open to residents of the continental United States. The email addresses that are collected for this giveaway will only be used for the purpose of contacting the winner and will never be given out to anyone nor sold. The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted via email. The winner will have 72 hours to respond. Please make sure you check your junk mail folder.

I received a complimentary Big Banjees Wrist Wallet from Sprigs for this review. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this post.

How to Save a Weekend + CT GIVEAWAY!

If you have a moment, head on over to the fashion company Free Endearment’s blog, which today is listing out bikini-ready tips for summer. The last one is from yours truly! And while you’re at it, check out my darling friend Jenny’s new blog, Tofu Swag. The fabulous title clues you in to what you can expect – vegan food porn and sassy commentary. Need I say more?

My weekend started out kind of crappy. I was feeling really, really down ever since Wednesday, and despite the fact that I had plenty of fun planned for Friday through Sunday, I was not feeling good. Blame my usual issues. However, I managed to slowly salvage the weekend – and my mood – thanks to family, friends, and the power of positive thinking.

Jenny, me, and Heather – three blonde triplets!

So without further ado, I give you – how to save a weekend:

1. Wear a new shirt that makes you feel fabulous. Express surprise when your best blend wears a brightly colored shirt with an interesting back as well. Proceed to bring sexy back.

2. Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself. Otherwise photographic gems like these wouldn’t exist.

Oh HEY cardboard fox!

3. Go with your gut. If your first instinct drink order is a cucumber martini and the ginormous Greek dip platter is calling your name…do it. If you’re dreaming of a Wildflour vegan scone…order it.

Greek dips and Effen Good cucumber martini at Bar Louie in Foxborough, MA.

Still dreaming of this mushroom and spinach scone.

4. Drink wine. Preferably with family friends, your parents, and your best friend by your side. And preferably local wine.

Lidia and I at the gorgeous Chamard Vineyards in Clinton, CT.


5. Don’t be afraid to ask your mom for a hug if you’re feeling down. Cry on her shoulder. It doesn’t help anyone to feel guilty for putting your worries on her or to hold your sadness inside. Just let it out so you can get to the smiling.

Height diff much?

6. Wear a flowy dress. Spin around. Jump. Channel your inner flower child.

7. Have the best dad in the world. Need I say more?

8. Drink tequila out of a wine glass at the vineyard. It looks like white wine – they’ll never know!

That is NOT Pinot Grigio.

Classy pairing.

9. Go to the beach. Yeah, that’s it. Just go.

I’ve fallen…and I can’t get up!

10. When selecting a restaurant for a Sunday dinner, look no further than the local spot where your sister is a waitress. She’ll pour you LOTS of red wine, give you slow service because she knows she can, and make sure you leave smiling (and not just due to the wine).

Sis and I at Giovanni’s, her place of work, in Glastonbury, CT.

This is NOT one glass.

I ended my weekend feeling WAY better than I had going in. I think I can give credit to every part of the ten steps above for how much better I felt, and am continuing to feel. Oh, and I don’t have work tomorrow. YAY.

And now it’s time for a giveaway for my Connecticut readers. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra is sponsoring an excellent outdoor summer concert series at the Performing Arts Center at Simsbury Meadows. This Friday, July 6, receive a free dance lesson at Dancing Under the Stars. Or next Friday, July 13, listen to Music of Elton John at Rocket Man. Finally, on Friday July 20, get your fill of Big Country. Lawn tickets are only $20 in advance, and table tickets are just $40 (both prices go up $5 if you purchase at the door). Child lawn tickets are always $5!

But you have the chance to go for free by entering a giveaway for two lawn tickets for one lucky winner! The tickets work for any of the 3 shows in July mentioned above. To enter, just comment telling me which show you’d most want to attend (mandatory). Entries close this Thursday 7/5 at 12PM EST!

For extra entries (leave a comment for each) you can:

  1. Follow me on Twitter
  2. Follow Hartford Symphony Orchestra on Twitter
  3. Follow me on Pinterest

Good luck to all who enter!

Treadmill 5K Workout and Playlist

Hi friends. Wow, where have I been, haven’t blogged since Friday! Glad you guys seemed to enjoy that post by the way. If you follow me on Twitter then you know that I’ve been moving at about a thousand MPH as per usual, attending many a delicious restaurant outing, getting in some good workouts, drinking lots of tasty coffee at Daybreak, and spending time with family and friends.

And it’s not anywhere close to ending – tomorrow night I’m going to be attending Taste of the Nation: New Haven with a new blend, Marissa of Style Cusp! I’ve honestly been dreaming of going to a Taste of the Nation event ever since I started reading blogs a few years ago and saw some of my favorite bloggers recap their local Taste of the Nation! Now I’m the blogger who will be attending and recapping – surreal!

A little something for ya today – this is the 5K treadmill workout and playlist that I used on my last day in Orlando almost two weeks ago (wow, time has flown!). The TV was unavailable in the hotel gym so I had to make do with a treadmill run with JUST music – THE HORROR! I varied my speeds to keep myself interested and put my iPhone on shuffle. This is the workout I ended up following, and the songs I chose to listen to.

You may end up completing the 5K sooner than 32 minutes (I did mine in 29:54 on this particular day I think) in which case you can cool down sooner, or just keep running to 32 minutes! I most certainly did NOT.

I wanted to use sunny colors since we have been so fortunate with the weather so far in CT this week! Give me 60’s or give me death! (Or 70’s…or 80’s…)

I like the idea of a pyramid workout because when I was running at 7.4MPH, panting my head off, I knew that in a couple minutes I’d be able to turn the speed down. I also added the burst of speed at the end because there’s nothing like reaching that 3.1 mile mark and feeling like you’re sprinting across a finish line!

Have you ever heard of Taste of the Nation events? Have you ever read about them on blogs or attended?

What’s your take on making a treadmill workout interesting – WITHOUT a TV available to you?

Do you recognize any of the songs above?

February’s Birchbox

Yes, another month has passed, and it’s time for me to share what I got in February’s Birchbox! A quick explanation – for $10 per month, you can sign up to get a little box sent to your home each month, with a random sample of beauty supplies. You don’t know what you’re getting until the box arrives on your front step – the most fun aspect of this, in my opinion – and questions you answer during sign-up help Birchbox determine what you are sent. I believe right now there is a waiting list to get a monthly box, but I suggest signing up for it so that you can get started on receiving boxes sooner. For $10, a little box of beauty surprises each month is totally worth it!

You can check out previous boxes I’ve received in: November, December, January.

This month’s theme was about self-love and putting the spotlight on YOU by indulging and pampering – very appropriate for a single-lady like me in the Valentine’s Day month! The packaging was adorable as always.

Let’s get to the goods, shall we?

  • colorscience pro glow and go Travel Puff: A really nifty travel packet of a powder bronzer available for sale in full-size (at the link). I don’t use anything on my face normally except concealer, but I can see this coming on handy to take on a sunny vacation for use in an emergency sunburn situation. The travel packet makes the vacation use even more fitting.
  • dermalogica Daily Microfiliant: I love trying out different face washes, especially exfoliating ones, which always leave my skin feeling extra-clean and refreshed. This one is made with natural ingredients like rice bran. It starts in powder form and becomes a cream when mixed with water. I can see that making a mess at the sink, but I wash my face while in the shower, so I’m not worried about that.
  • Eye Rock Designer Liner: I’m honestly not sure if I will use these, but this is not normal eyeliner – it’s stick-on adhesive liner, and the sample packet I got comes with one of each of four different designs. The idea behind this is to get intricate eyeliner designs on your lids that do not differ in size between sides or waver  from shaky hands. Yes, a sound idea, but I’ve had so many bad experiences with fake eyelashes that I’m wary of whether or not these would actually stay or how easy they really are to apply. There’s only one way to find out, but I’m not sure when I’ll try them out! Sometime when I have lots of time to get ready and am going out to a bar perhaps.
  • Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint: I actually thought this was a lip gloss until I started writing this post and took another look – it’s a sample of a moisturizing skin tint with SPF 20. The SPF is cool, but not sure if the color they sent me will go with my skin. Since that was one of the questions I answered when signing up (skin tone), I’m hoping it will. Again, I don’t use much on my face at all except some concealer on my chin, but I’ll probably give this a shot.
  • Nail File: The heart-shaped file is so cute! I don’t ever file my nails so I kinda want to tape it up on my file cabinet at work as decoration 🙂
  • Digital Download: I’ve been so into finding new music lately, and although it isn’t at all beauty-related, the download code I received for seven free songs by an indie band called Green River Ordinance was very welcome. I already have put the songs on my iPhone, but haven’t had a chance to listen yet (as they haven’t come up on my ginormous Recently Added playlist’s shuffle today). I’ll probably be tweeting what I think whenever I do listen though, so keep an eye out. If you want to find out for yourself, the link to their site actually has three of the songs available for free download for anyone!

Overall, I am pretty satisfied with this month’s Birchbox, though last month’s still remains my favorite (the Larabar in there probably is a source of extreme bias since I found it to be so delish).

Which of these products would you most want to try?