Friday, May 31, 2013

Gotta love race swag - especially when it is good swag

So, I've done quite a few races over the year from the Race for the Cure to the Chicago Marathon to the Disney Princess Half Marathon.  The one thing I've noticed is that the race swag has been declining over the past few years.  Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon?

So, I picked up the race packets for this triathlon that I'm doing this weekend and my faith in the race swag has been partially restored!
swag-tastic!
Water bottle, sunscreen, udderly smooth body cream, athletes foot powder (hopefully I never need that), body glide, sun screen, shave gel, mocha clif shot, dark chocolate almonds, chocolate chip clif bar, corn thins, swim cap!!!  In fact, there is more - the biofreeze and chapstick dropped on the floor and I was too lazy to pick it up and take another picture.  Hey, I gotta conserve my energy, I have a triathlon this weekend!

After picking up my packet, I'm getting very excited for this weekend.  

Completely unrelated, but you'll be so happy that I brought this to your attention.  So, law school made me a pretty big grammar nerd.  

However, before law school, my knowledge of these things were sort of  "need to know" ... and because I pretty much just wrote lab reports I didn't "need to know" that much.  The content of the lab reports mattered waaaaaaaayyyyy more than whether it included split infinitives or passive voice.  So, as you can imagine, I don't have a ton of confidence in my grammar knowledge.  If someone tells me that I'm not doing something correctly, I'm likely to believe them.  

spoiler alert:  I watched this and was sort of very worried that I didn't actually know how to use a semicolon.  The end of the video made me feel much better.  

Watching the video the second time was even more enjoyable because I could listen to the lyrics (they're so funny!) instead of internally freaking out =)

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Have you noticed the amount of swag you get with race registration is reducing in quantity and quality?

Do you have a favorite punctuation mark? Does this question win the award for nerdiest blogger question EVER??
(in my professional life, I really like using the semicolon, but I also really love exclamation points!)

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

I just love making lists

I mean, it is sort of embarrassing how much I love making lists:
Are these the things I needed to accomplish this evening?  Yes.
Are these the only two things I actually accomplished?  Yes.
So, in the spirit of making lists, my desire to procrastinate the things on the above list that I don't feel like doing, and my anxiety about this triathlon on Saturday, I've made a list of things I think I need to take on Saturday.

**Please tell me if any of this sounds like a bad idea**

What I Plan to Wear to Lake Mead:
-  swim suit 
-  sports bra (under swim suit - I like extra support)
-  warm-up type clothing for before and after the Tri (shorts, tshirt, jacket)
-  sandals

To Take for the Swim:
-  green swim cap (required that women's cap be green - provided?)
-  goggles (mirrored speedo vanquisher & purple swedish goggles)

To Take for Transition #1/Bike:
-  Update: BIKE (yes, I forgot to list a bike...)
-  Full water bottle 
-  Clif Shot energy gels
-  Energy jelly beans
-  Tri shorts
-  Cycling shirt/jersey
-  socks
-  Nike Lunarglide 4 running shoes
-  bike helmet
-  sunglasses
-  Garmin watch
-  towel

To Take for Transition #2/Run:
-  head band
-  running hat

Random Things to Take:
-  body glide
-  gatorade
-  headlamp (for setting up transition area)
-  spibelt
-  spare set of clothes

**I know this was long, but I needed to make this list in a place where I know I'll have it when I'm freaking out on Friday night**

Yesterday's Workout:
HP and I went for a 9-mile bike ride.  We decided that it was important that Saturday not be the first time in two years that I ride an actual bicycle.  Plus, I'm using HP's girlfriend's (she's my friend too - I'm just providing additional background info) bike and I needed to figure out how the gears worked.  The 9-mile ride took about 50 minutes.  I think that's pretty slow, but HP was nice and supportive.

I'm still laughing because I'm pretty sure HP would be annoyed that I gave him that nickname.

Yesterday's Food:
On an unrelated note, I made some grade A food choices.  
Raisin Bran & Diet Coke - breakfast of champions =)
One of my co-workers brought in some fresh, homemade salsa and there are no words to describe how happy this salsa made me today.  I really can't get enough chips & salsa (and/or guac).
This is random, I know, but it made me laugh.
I'm a total double-dipper.  I just try to hide it so people don't get grossed out.
Mythbusters said there is nothing wrong with double dipping.
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Are you a list maker?

Is there anything I should be adding to my list of things to take to the triathlon?

Do you double dip?  Or, do you doubt Mythbusters rock-solid science that it isn't bad for you?

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sometimes I'm impulsive

I made at least two impulsive decisions today . . . the jury is still out on whether these decisions will turn out to be good ones......

#1:
http://www.amicatriathlonvegas.com
So, I'm going to do a triathlon this weekend...and, yes, my friend and I signed up today at 2:45pm....  It is only a spring triathlon: swim 1/2 mile; bike 16.1 miles; run 3.1 miles.  I'm not super worried about the swim and I'm not worried about the run, but I literally have not ridden a bike outside of spinning class in two years.  This is the last bike I rode...and I rode it around the island of Key West...and sometimes I wasn't sober....
These bikes served as our mode of transportation for my two girl friends and me as we bummed around Key West for Spring Break 2011.
So, at this point, I'm not even sure I remember how to ride a bike.......that's a problem, no?  I mean, I know how the saying goes about things that you can't forget how to do being "like riding a bike" .... but I'm not entirely sure it has really been proven true.  Basically what I'm say is that this triathlon is not just about testing my physical abilities.  It is also about science.  

I broke this out to look for guidance.  

I bought it right after I graduated from college thinking that after a collegiate "career" of swimming, a triathlon was the next natural progression.  It was pretty unhelpful.  I still have no idea what you wear when swimming and transitioning to biking.  I'm so clueless....I think I bit off more than I can chew this time.

Anyway, in an effort to at least test out my biking skills, my friend (we'll call him HP b/c he looks like Harry Potter) and I are going to test this theory tomorrow morning when we go on a 10-mile bike ride.  Hopefully I can do it in under an hour...is that feasible?  See, this is how little I know about biking.  I don't even know if I can do a 10-mile ride in under an hour.

Okay...that's enough stressing about rash decision #1.  I'm sure this will be an ongoing theme this week.


I promise, impulsive decision #2 is even more exciting.
#2:
be still my heart
Seriously Nabisco?!  Where does your brilliance in the area of innovative twists on this classic cookie end?  First there were strawberry milkshake Oreos, then there were birthday cake batter Oreos, and now these?!  

Anyway, purchasing these while at Target to buy a bike helmet can hardly be categorized as impulsive.  Purchasing at least one package of these babies was the only rational choice....  The only impulsive part was when I marched straight back to buy a bike helmet and then purposely headed straight to the cookie aisle.

Not purchasing these cookies would have been impulsive.  

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Has anyone ever done a triathlon?  Please, I'm begging you, hit me with any advice you have.

Do you *love* Oreos?  Are you a traditionalist? or do you get into the special, wacky Oreos that Nabisco comes up with?

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Spending Memorial Day with my favorite veteran

First, I want to say a slightly belated thank you to all of the service men and women (including my wonderful husband and a few other friends and family members).  Although I have several loved ones that have served, I am so fortunate that none have had to pay the ultimate sacrifice.
Memorial Day @ Grand Central Station
It was another long evening of flying, but it was totally worth it because I got to spend this important holiday weekend with my favorite veteran:
This is a picture from circa 2008 when my wonderful husband got home from his first deployment.
Anyway, my husband and I had a fantastic weekend in New York visiting his best friend from high school.  

After spending most of Saturday recuperating from / sleeping off the red-eye flight, we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  
I *love* Degas
I especially loves the dancer paintings and sculptures
The next day (Sunday) we walked a lot.  I had a list of things I wanted to see/do and husband was very patient.  First, we walked the high line. It was beautiful and very enjoyable...until I was too busy looking at my husband and walked right in to a stone bench.  I'm telling you, that bench was solid.  I was pretty sure I had broken my tibia (yes, I checked that the tibia is the bone in front).  However, I walked it off down the rest of the high line and through a stroll in the west village.  So, I'm pretty sure it isn't broken, but I have a pretty gnarly bruise right below my knee cap. 
Me on the high line - taken by my fantastic photographer (aka Husband)

After walking through the west village, browsing on Bleeker Street, and finding some brunch (delicious huevos rancheros and a mimosa...I ate it so fast, I forgot to take a picture), we took the subway to Brooklyn so we could walk back into the city via the Brooklyn Bridge.
This was a rare moment when the Brooklyn Bridge walkway wasn't wall-to-wall people
again, isn't my husband the best photographer?
After all of our walking, we met up with husband's best friend and his wife for dinner.  We seriously ate some of the best guacamole I've ever had....and I've eaten a lot of guacamole in the past few years. 
fortunately, it isn't super obvious in this picture how much guac and sangria I consumed at dinner.
After dinner we had the incredibly exciting plans of hanging out with our friends and watching cat videos on youtube and music videos of Scandinavian pop stars with epic dance skills.  I know, try to contain your jealousy of how I lived it up in NYC.

On our way back to our hotel, we had to stop by Times Square to snap this pic.  My husband is a professional in the selfie department, don't you think?

Also, after the Times Square pic, we came across this wonderful little place where we each got a slice of cheese pizza for $1 each!!  I was a little worried that I would get salmonella poisoning...but it turned out to be delicious - best $1 I spent while in New York.
Seriously, 2 slices + a can of soda for $2.75?!
Monday morning we got up and had a delicious french breakfast.  I had a spinach and goat cheese frittata...changed my life.  After that, we just sort of wandered around until it was time to head to the airport.  Because we were worried about being able to get back to our hotel and get to the airport on time, we took our bags with us.  My husband was such a sweetheart and carried my luggage all over the city.

I really wanted to get a run in, but the 3-hour time change had pretty drastic effects on me and I was basically incapable of rolling out of bed before 10:30 EDT...so that was sad.  We did a lot of walking though, so that makes up for it right?

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What did you do over the holiday weekend?

Do you prefer visiting cities or nature?

Does anyone else always feel like they need a vacation from their vacation?

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Another sad Friday...but I'm excited about this long weekend!

I'm getting pretty sick of my friends leaving Las Vegas...  Last week J.Crew friend finished her time in Las Vegas and moved back to SoCal and that was really sad.

Now, this guy is moving too! (I'll call him Paparazzo Friend because he often has his awesome camera with him and takes gorgeous pictures)

Even more tragic than Paparazzo Friend moving is the fact that his incredible fiancé won't be visiting Vegas anymore. =(

My friends in Vegas are really so great. Not only are they way smarter than I am (so I'm continually learning more about so many topics), they're also super funny and usually willing to follow me on my hair-brained plans to do things like night hiking. 
This is from our hike to the Arizona Hot Springs that we did in mid-March.  Apparently, you shouldn't put your head under water if you want to avoid an amoeba infecting your brain.
Actually, the fact that they do that might undercut my statement of how intelligent they are....but I promise you, they are brilliant. 

So, the existence of great friends makes this sad Friday better, but this website that E showed me did the most to make my Friday. For example:
http://dailyoddcompliment.tumblr.com/
There are so many good ones. I was laughing out loud on the plane last night and I'm pretty sure the people around me thought I was losing it.  You should definitely check it out!

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What are your Memorial Day Weekend Plans?
       (I'm in New York. I arrived via the red-eye at 7:30 this morning. More on that to come)

What websites do you go to for a good laugh?
       (Other than this one of course...I'm hilarious (read: sarcasm). I also frequent Suri's Burn Book)

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mid-Week Motivation + A delicious salad

Well, we've all survived more than half of the week.  I think a congratulations is in order.
This has been a particularly exhausting week at work.  I was supposed to run a 3 mile tempo run last night and then take today off, but I decided that I needed the break tonight so I can attack that tempo run tomorrow.
This is going to be my motto for today!
via Back on Pointe
Monday I did a 4-mile treadmill run followed by 1400 yards of swimming:
   Warmup:
       200 Easy Freestyle
       100 Easy Backstroke
   Main Set:
       5 x 100 on 2:00
       4 x 25 push on :40
   Kick Set:
       4 x 75 butterfly kick on your back in streamline position (~20 seconds rest)
   Cool Down:
       200 Easy

Tuesday I did a 4-mile outside - it was "only" 93 degrees, so I thought I'd take advantage of that.  

Even though I didn't run last night, I was still semi-productive.  First of all, I had a delicious gourmet dinner involving the best combination of cereal I've ever tried:
Frosted Flakes + Special K Red Berries + Vanilla Soy Milk = So much deliciousness.  It is something to do with the tartness of the strawberries paired against the sweetness of the frosted flakes.  I'm obsessed and super sad that I ate the last of my Special K last night so I couldn't eat any this morning...

After eating my five star cereal dinner, I decided to use some of the contents of my refrigerator that are only a few days from going bad, so I made a modified version of my mom's broccoli salad:
Instead of the mayonnaise I used plain greek yogurt.  Don't get me wrong, mayo is delicious, but the plain greek yogurt makes this infinitely more healthy (ok, maybe not "infinitely" more healthy).  Also, in addition to the raisins, I added dried cherries and shredded carrots.  Finally, instead of the 6-12 strips of bacon, I went ahead and added all 15 strips from my box of pre-cooked bacon....yes, I cheated and used the pre-cooked bacon that you just pop in the microwave.   

....and the finished product....
It doesn't look like much...in fact, you might think it looks kind of gross...but now that it is done chilling over night, I'm really looking forward to eating it for lunch!

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What are the components of your favorite salad?

Are you a cereal eater?  What's your favorite?

How have your workouts this week gone?

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 Wishing You Merry Miles 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

My weekend so far....

The end of my week was sort of great and sort of rough at the same time....

It was great because this was a major part of my Thursday morning....it was just sort of rough because of how many I ate.  If I'm being honest, I ate two...and they were delicious
ok....I lied, I actually ate three...sorry (I'm not sorry)
Friday morning was similar.  I actually woke up early Friday morning to bake 2-dozen lemon-blueberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  I'm sure there will be lots of judgment from you all when I tell you that I literally used a lemon box cake mix and added blueberries to the batter and used the pre-made jar of frosting and then added blueberries on top. 
The cupcakes served the dual purpose of celebrating my boss's birthday and commemorating J.Crew friend's last day at work (she's moving back to Cali).  I think I ate at least three...maybe four.  Have I mentioned that I have an epic sweet tooth?
(This pic is from a night out in April)
I will really, really miss J.Crew Friend.
Today I went hiking with one of my other dear work friends and her husband.  We did Calico Tanks in the Red Rock Conservation Area which is a fantastic ~2.5 mile hike for beginning hikers.  The trail is pretty obvious and it is pretty well populated.  It is also very dog friendly, except for a couple very short spots that took some maneuvering for Maggie (if you have a dog that weighs somewhat less than Maggie's 85 pounds, you might be able to just pick them up in these spots).

After hiking and taking Maggie home so she could take a nap (woah that hike tuckered her out), we went to the magnificent Pizza Lounge and ate an obscene amount of delicious pizza.  I took a picture, but I'm not going to upload it because I don't want to gross you out anymore than I already have with the whole donut and cupcake thing...  For real, Pizza Lounge is the best food.  In addition to the Las Vegas location (in Tivoli Village), they also have locations in Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach.

When I got home I had an exciting little package waiting on my doorstep:
Let me start by saying, my cousin Katrina is the crazy talented jewelry designer/creator behind Jewel Up!  I was blown away by the packaging alone!  But the jewelry inside was exquisite!! 
I meant to buy a gift for my boss and of course bought something for myself.  You should check her stuff out here.

The rest of the day was spent watching TV, losing hours and hours on Pinterest, and spending a a little more money at REI than I meant to.  I mostly went to REI to get these socks for tomorrow's hike so I could avoid doing laundry.  
These socks are simply the best socks for hiking - no blisters, very little moisture, you get the idea.  They're a little pricey, but I only need a couple pairs if I keep up with my laundry (which pretty much never happens).

Tomorrow I'm either going to hike 17 miles (if I wake up early enough - the group is leaving at 6!) or I need to run 7-10 miles...  We'll see what happens.

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What activities have you done this weekend?

What are the items you can't live without when it comes to fitness?

Do you troll Etsy for hours upon hours like I do?

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 Wishing You Merry Miles 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I'm hoping to parlay my Wonderful Wednesday into a Terrific Thursday!!

Yesterday was such a great day for so many reasons!

  • Grizzlies Victory!!
  • Cherry. Pomegranate. Poptarts.
  • Another fantastic swimming workout
  • The best smelling shampoo is back in my life
  • Easy Magic Bullet Guacamole
These are the things that get me excited.  I mean, I clearly live an extraordinarily charmed life.  Are you jealous yet?  Just wait until you see the pictures . . . 


#1 - The Memphis Grizzlies are headed to the Western Conference Finals!!!  I found this on the internet on Wednesday morning:  Our Grindfather, Who art on Beale: A Playoff Prayer (I found it on ilovememphisblog.com, but I think it originated here?)


I laughed so hard the first time I read this (and each subsequent time too).  I used to go to Grizzlies games pretty regularly when I lived in Memphis, thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law.

I am *pumped* that the Grizz live to grind again!  Will they be facing San Antonio or Golden State?


#2 - This was my breakfast (in addition to some delicious bacon):
These "toaster pastries" (come on, we all know they're called pop tarts even if they're not made by Kellogg's) are from the mystical world of Trader Joe's.  I need to stock up on these before everyone discovers this like they did cookie butter.  I don't think I could handle a nation-wide shortage of these.

#3 - I took the day off from running, but I fit in a great 1200 yards of swimming.  This workout is loosely based on this workout found at Keifer.com
Fun fact of the day:  No one looks good in a swim cap.

Wednesday's Workout:
Warmup:

       200 Easy Freestyle
       100 Easy Backstroke
Main Set:
       100 build (each 25 faster than the last) freestyle - 10 seconds rest
       75 build backstroke - 10 seconds rest
       50 easy freestyle - 10 seconds rest
       25 hard freestyle
   1:00 rest
       100 build freestyle - 10 seconds rest
       75 build backstroke - 10 seconds rest
       50 easy freestyle - 10 seconds rest
       25 hard freestyle
Kick Set:
       6 x 50 butterfly kick on your back in streamline position (~20 seconds rest)
Cool Down:
       100 Easy

...and in case you're curious...

Tuesday's Workout:
3 miles running ~30 minutes + 10 minutes walking cool down
30 minutes strength training (bicep curls, tricep extensions, calf raises, glutes & hips, planks)

#4 - During a trip to Target on Tuesday evening, the best smelling shampoo re-entered my life after a hiatus of what seems like a decade:
I pretty much couldn't live without this shampoo when I was in high school.  Not only was it trendy in my swim team locker room, it was also such a beautiful smell that most effectively covered up the ever-present scent of chlorine.  My sweet parents even bought it for me even though the arguably equally effective Suave shampoos were like 1/3 the price.  I really have the best parents.

This shampoo was also trendy in my swim team locker room:

but I have a much stronger affection for the Herbal Essences in the pink bottle.

#5 - Finally, my night was capped off by some of the easiest, most delicious guacamole.  I mean, the ease to delicious ratio is really optimized with this recipe/method.
Just throw the following ingredients in to the Magic Bullet cup:
     1.  Meat from two ripe avocados
     2.  Juice from half a lime
     3.  Handful of cilantro
     4.  Minced garlic (I always cheat by buying the minced garlic that comes in a jar)
     5.  Half jalapeño, chopped
     6.  Tomatoes (I forgot to buy some so I just used a couple spoonfuls of salsa)
That's it! Once all the ingredients are in the cup, use the magic bullet to blend it to your desired consistence.  Voila!, delicious guac that took 5 minutes!!  Three of my friends came over so we could get our nerd on and talk about interesting issues in our respective areas of interest/study.  I mean, they totally could have been lying, but they said the guac was at least edible.


So....that was my Wednesday.  Thursday is looking to be just as good!

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Is anyone following the NBA playoffs?  If so, who are you cheering for?  What do you think about the teams that are left?

Did you ever use the herbal essences shampoo that came in these old school bottles?  Am I crazy or did they stop making this shampoo for like a decade?

Do you have a Magic Bullet?  If so, what is your favorite Magic Bullet recipe?

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 Wishing You Merry Miles 




Monday, May 13, 2013

Blast from the Past (plus, something new & exciting)


Today, I feel like a working out champion . . . 

Workout:
4 miles running ~42 minutes + 8 minutes walking cool down
30 minutes strength training (bicep curls, tricep extensions, calf raises, glutes & hips, planks)
1200 yards swimming

Step One (running) & Step Two (strength training) of my Overachiever Workout:
I had to deviate from the treadmill workout a little bit at random places because my foot kept going numb (I laced my shoes like an idiot, but was too stubborn to stop and re-tie them).

Step Three (swimming) of my Overachiever Workout:

Because the workout is kind of hard to read, here it is:

Warmup:
       200 Easy Freestyle
       100 Easy Backstroke
Main Set:
       6 x 50 Freestyle (15 seconds rest)
       3 x 100 Freestyle (25 seconds rest)
Kick Set:
       4 x 50 kick on your back in streamline position (~30 seconds rest)
Cool Down:
       100 Easy

This workout is a modified version of this workout by Kiefer ("The First Name in U.S. Swimming since 1947")

I am so excited that I felt the need to get in the pool this evening!  I started swimming when I was 8 years old and never took more than two months off until the end of my senior year of college.
Best friend from high school (right) and Me (left) at a college swim meet.
We swam together, on the same team, through high school and then swam on different teams in the same conference through college.
Wowie!! I am so slow now.  It took me almost 45 minutes to swim a 1200 yard set!  And I feel like my body is a little bit falling apart.  Swimming is such a great workout and it is a fantastic way to get your heart rate up when your legs need a break.  I highly recommend it!



....and, finally, my "something new & exciting"...

I'm so excited to be signed up for my first Ragnar.  I'm officially a member of a 12-person team for the Ragnar Wasatch Back!

I've never done anything like this, but I'm *very* excited for the challenge.  Unless my team comes up with a different plan, I'm going to wear lots of neon and will probably be totally dependent on my compression socks (they were one of the only reasons I didn't die during the Goofy Challenge).

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Do you ever work in any swimming or water running into your routine to give your legs a break?

Have you ever done a Ragnar Relay?  Any advice for a newbie?

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Wishing You Merry Miles 




Sunday, May 12, 2013

Monthly Subscription Sample Box for Runners


Look what I signed up for this weekend!!


I've never signed up for one of these monthly subscription sample boxes, but I read a couple of reviews of StrideBox (here and here) and I'm super curious.  I think I first heard of these when Birch Box started - there is also a list of some fun looking ones here.  I was intrigued by the craft and jewelry making boxes, but I definitely whipped out my credit card when I read that they had one of these babies full of running products!

The subscription costs $15/month and my understanding is that you can cancel at any time.  

The only sad thing is that I won't receive my first box until the beginning of next month.  However, after that, it'll be like getting a present in the mail every month! (who doesn't love presents?!)

Have you ever tried StrideBox or any of the other "surprise boxes"?

How did you celebrate Mother's Day yesterday?