Hiking and Camping must haves _Review

I had the amazing opportunity to get to try a few products from Mountain Warehouse.  Just a little back ground information about them, via their website. 

Mountain Warehouse has been offering quality outdoor clothing and equipment at the lowest prices since 1997. From hiking clothing and camping equipment to ski wear and running gear we stock everything you need for your outdoor activities.
Most of the products we sell are exclusive to Mountain Warehouse, unlike other outdoor clothing shops. By cutting out the middleman we can produce the best quality products at the best prices. We pride ourselves on providing great value outdoor gear and at Mountain Warehouse you can be sure to receive honest advice from our knowledgeable staff.

The products that I tried exceeded my expectations.  Each one being more than I thought it would be.  

This backpack is lightweight and so comfortable.  I like that even after hours of having it on, it still felt lightweight and didn't cause my shoulders or back to hurt.  It has a lot of room in it, and has a hole at the top for a water bladder if you want to add one.  I chose to bring bottled water on our hike to share, and it wasn't heavy at all!

The Bolt also has two straps to help distribute heavier loads, one of which goes across your chest and the other around your waist.  For our hike the waist strap was not needed and I liked where the chest strap laid.  Other backpacks lay too low, and make it very uncomfortable, where this one was just right. 

I have used this backpack on several occasions other than hiking.  It is great loaded with everything you might need for hiking, to adventures out with the kids.  There are no drawbacks to owning the Bolt 18L backpack it is amazing and will be used for several years to come.  

The next item we were privileged to try was a flint starter.  This is a handy, light weight item that provides piece of mind when hiking or camping.  It also makes an excellent addition to any survival kit and stores very nicely in the Bolt 18L backpack.   You don't have to worry about matches getting wet, or a lighter not working.   One thing I can say for sure is that this starter put out more sparks than any other starter I've ever seen.  Starting a fire is quick and easy as seen in the photos below.  Just gather some dry material together, make a little tinder bundle and while applying medium pressure, just slide the striker down the flint stick and watch the sparks fly. 

Lastly, my favorite new hoodie, the Kittwake Womens Hoodie.

It is so soft, and comfortable, that I would seriously wear it  everyday!  There is just something about how it fits and the softness of it, that my other sweatshirts don't compare! 
The sizing chart is different than a US chart, our sweatshirts are S,M,L, but they have made it easy with this chart.
UK UK6810121416182022
EU Euro343638404244464850
German German323436384042444648
Italian Italian384042444648505254
USA USA24681012141618
Australian Australian6810121416182022
cm / inchcm / inchcm / inchcm / inchcm / inchcm / inchcm / inchcm / inchcm / inch
Bust/Chest80 / 31.584 / 3388 / 34.593 / 36.598 / 38.5104 / 41110 / 43.5116 / 45.5123 / 48.5
Waist63 / 2568 / 26.571 / 2876 / 3081 / 3287 / 34.593 / 36.599 / 39106 / 41.5
Hips88 / 34.592 / 3696 / 38101 / 40106 / 41.5112 / 44118 / 46.5124 / 48.5131 / 51.5
Legs / Regular79 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 31
Legs / Short74 / 2974 / 2974 / 2974 / 2974 / 2974 / 2974 / 2974 / 2974 / 29
Legs / Ski79 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 31

Womens Footwear

avg. insole length (cm)24.325.125.826.627.5

I want to apologize for taking so long to write this review.  I received these products right after returning from a camping and hiking trip and didn't get the opportunity until last weekend to use the products out in nature.  The items were given to me, but all opinions are honest and my own. 


The Fitness Games_Review

Thanks to Sweat Pink and The Fitness Games for giving me the opportunity to try out the new app, The Fitness Games.

This app gives you the opportunity to challenge your fitness friends, other fitness minded folks or even just yourself. There are four main challenge groups. Strength, Cardiovascular, Full Body and Cross Training.  I have figured out, if you don't have an extensive home gym or a gym membership, some of these are hard to do.

Over all, it's a pretty cool app, at least the idea of it is.  If you take sweaty selfies of yourself, you aren't the only one, and people aren't rolling their eyes at yours, because your other challengers/friends are doing it too.

I did get the Platinum version, so 16 more challenges than the basic.   They were really great workouts!  Well, the ones I tried.  

My biggest complaint about the app is challenging others.  I challenged a few people, and after weeks, either they don't know that I challenged them, or they just don't want to accept it.  So in all the workouts I've done, I have only won 1.  Not that I am that worried about winning or losing, but I think the point of the app is to make yourself better, and sometimes it's more fun to have the challenge of using your friends than challenging yourself.  

I would recommend this app, especially if you have several friends that like a little friendly competition.  It is available for iPhone and Android use. Thank you to Fit Approach and The Fitness Games!

This post was sponsored by The Fitness Games through my partnership with Fit Approach as a Sweat Pink Ambassador. I was not compensated monetarily, but was provided the Platinum Version of the application for review. As always, all opinions are my own.


Fleurty Bands- Review

I am so thankful to Jasmine Wood, the owner of Fleurty Bands for the opportunity to try and review the BEST headband I've ever used!  I'm not just saying that because I got to try it free, it really is hands down, the best one.  It didn't move, not even once!

(sorry for the sweaty selfie)

I have the worst time while working out keeping headbands on my head.  I thought maybe it was just my head.  I have bought different bands, made of different materials, but all of them slid out of place.  The worst is when you are running a race and you are continually having to fix it, or you lose it, because it falls out and you just don't have time for that nonsense!

Fleurty Bands are unique to any bands I've tried.  I don't know if it's the material she uses for the inside, but it stays where you put it.

Besides being handmade with love, they have beautiful craftsmanship,  you can pick from different colors and designs, and she has really cute ones!!  If you are looking for a headband that stays in place, and are adorable, head on over to her shop and grab one or a few!  Now that I'm a believer and know that they don't move, I'll be buying a few!

Thank you Jasmine and Fleurty Bands for being the Headband that doesn't move, so I can!


Monday Motivation- What you eat

I hate when I have those days that I'm stressed out, or lazy when it comes to food.  I think, what is one hamburger really going to do, or I'm going to eat that piece of cake and I'll be ok.  When I know better.  I get so mad at myself, and truly feel like crap when I have those days.  When I think, I work too hard and my body still doesn't look like I want it to, so what should I care?  A treat is one thing, once in a while, but when you decide you don't care, day after day, it does matter.  That's where we began, where we looked like our old selves.  Those were the days we didn't care about our bodies and ate what we wanted when we wanted because it tasted good, not because it fueled our body. We might think, we are going to have one tiny slice of our kids birthday cakes, then when everyone left, we finished that cake.  I'm guilty!  I have a few weaknesses, and it really takes everything in me to not touch certain things, where other things I could care less about.    I have to remind myself...

Eating Clean really makes a difference!  I have found this awesome shopping list that makes eating clean much easier!    They say that your body transforms from only 20% in the gym, the other 80% is what you put into it!  When I eat clean, at least to the best of my willpower, I not only feel better, but I also start to see the changes in the definition in the body parts I work so hard to see.  I need constant reminders of why that slice of cake isn't helping the cause, or the Italian bread from back home that I can't eat just eat one slice. 

Having my fit fam, really helps too.  I know that a lot of people hate seeing pics of peoples' meals or their sweaty selfies, but for a lot of us, that's motivation.  Those are the pics that help us put down that donut and grab something not so terrible, to get up off the couch and do our workout video, or whatever it may be.  Some may think it's silly, but I like it, that's why I follow the people I do.  They are the ones that help me stay motivated.  If you have an instagram and post pics of your workouts or yummy food, leave a comment below so that we may follow you too!  

I hope you all have a fabulous Monday!  Make healthy choices and get moving!  xoxo BJ


A big Congratulations!!

I am so happy and excited for my little sister today!!  Today in the beautiful country of Grenada, she marries her best friend!

It saddens me that I won't be there to help her put her dress on, or make sure her foot bling is tightened so that it doesn't fall off, or stand there and cry at how beautiful I know she is going to be.  I just hope she knows that I will be thinking about her every second of today.  Every hour looking at the clock thinking of what she'll be doing to get ready for the biggest day of her life.

 I am so happy and proud of her and her new husband.  They have spent the past 10 years preparing for today.  Growing their love with all the ups and downs that goes with a relationship.  All of us old married folks knows that no relationship is perfect.  That a great marriage is built on trust, compromise, and a lot of love.  I wish them both many, many years of a happy, healthy marriage.  I might not be there in body, but I am there is spirit.

I love you Brooke and John!  I am so proud and happy for your both!  


Camping Watkins Glen KOA

Staying at just any campground, is like saying it doesn't matter what hotel you chose when you go on vacation.  Like hotels, campgrounds aren't all the same.  I wouldn't just say hey, I'm going to New York City and pick the cheapest hotel I can find, you never truly know what you're going to get until you walk through the door, and by then, it's to late to find a hotel that might be more to your liking.

When we choose a campground, we take several things into consideration.  First and for most we have to have full hook-up, meaning we have to have water, sewer and electric.  We may not use all of those things while we are there, but I like the thought of being able to use the bathroom in the middle of the night without having to go to the shower house or have to dump it when leaving.  Call me spoiled or a diva, but I'm not going full roughing it, that's just not me.

My preferred campgrounds are KOA's when we try new places, if there is one in the area.  For the most part, they are super clean, very family friendly, and have fun things for the kids to do.  It's always important for the kids to be entertained, and it's nice when I don't have to always come up with the ideas.

There are three different types of KOA's.

KOA Journey campgrounds are conveniently located near the highways and byways of North America and are waiting for you after a long day on the road. KOA Journeys offer long pull-through sites that help make setup fast and easy, have well-lit after-hour check-in service, and offer a robust line of RV supplies. They are great places to unwind and relax before the next leg of your journey.

Whether you're looking for a base camp for exploring the area or a fun place to stay with lots of activities, you'll love our KOA Holiday campgrounds. There's plenty to do at these KOAs, with amenities and services to make your stay memorable, whether it's overnight or for a longer stay. Each KOA Holiday features full service RV sites and KOA Deluxe Cabins with bathrooms. Take a hike, see the locale attractions or enjoy a campfire. It's your holiday!

KOA Resort campgrounds offer a carefree vacation in the great outdoors with plenty of patio RV sites and Deluxe Cabins with linen service. KOA Resorts also have an abundance of activities led by dedicated recreation staff, on-site food service, group meeting space, and so much more. KOA Resorts are all you could want in a vacation destination - all in one place.

While staying in Watkins Glen at the KOA, we had a great time not only exploring the State Park, but also spending time at the campground.  There was plenty of fun things to do and occupy the kids time.

The kids big and small had so much fun on the jumping pillow, giant waterside, the indoor pool with hot tub, and of course the zipline!  They also had two playgrounds a miniature golf course and fun activities lead by the employees.  We had a blast playing kickball with the kids and they love their new tie dyed shirts.  They even have Happy Hour in the store for the ice cream!!

 My complaints would be the size of the spots, I like the kids to have room to play in the grass, and there wasn't room for that.  The larger spots were the end spots next to the road.   The bathrooms weren't always clean, now I don't think that was completely the staff's fault, with a variety of people staying there, and quite a few cabins,  I don't know that the non campers know the proper etiquette of a campground.  Another example of this, was people walking through occupied campsites to their cabins.  I stopped 6 people total from walking though mine while I was sitting there.  (Nicely of course)  This bothered me!  My two year old knows not to walk through someone else camping spot.  I know that everyone might not know not to do this, but you have to think, do you walk through some neighbors yard when you are home?  Probably not, it's considered trespassing!  So don't do it in a campground, please!  My other problem with the bathhouses were the size of the showers.  Can we say tiny?  These were the smallest showers I've ever seen at a campground.  I couldn't shave my legs while the water was on.

Overall I would give this campground a 3 out of 5 stars.  If you need a campground to stay in Watkins Glen, it's a good choice, just be ready for the things I mentioned.  This review is my opinion, thoughts and in no way was I asked to do this.  I feel if I'm going to share my thoughts on the campgrounds we chose and pay for, other campers would benefit from hearing a completely honest review.

Happy Camping!


Motivation Monday- The Friends you chose

When we are kids, our parents say, "you are known by the company you keep."  As we grow older, it begins to makes sense when we get in trouble with them or get praised with them depending on our actions.

Things really don't change when we become adults, our associations might change, and the way we behave around our friends might change, but we still choose friends that for the most part are like minded with ourselves.  We learn that our friends make us happy, they like the same things we do and we can relate to them.  If for some reason these things don't happen, we go our separate ways and find friends that motivate us in our choices and make us feel great in our accomplishments or bring us up when we are down.  Friends that talk about you or aren't there to motivate us, are they really friends?  People who only speak to us when they want something, are they friends?

I have met some amazing friends on the internet.  I may have not physically met them in person, well, not all of them, but they are amazing.  When I'm having a bad day, they are there to bring me up, and remind me that we all have been through it, and it will be better.  When I'm not in the mood to workout, they motivate me to get off my booty and get stuff done!  Some days, all I have to do is check out Instagram and see their photos of their badass selves working out, or running or their amazing meals, or whatever they may have done for the day.  That is usually enough for me to do something that would make myself proud.  The amazing part about these ladies is they are always there for me, and I try my best to be there for them.

Yesterday I had the privilege to meet one of my long time internet buddies.  We met years ago when I began blogging, then started following each other on twitter, Instagram and myfitnesspal.  She is an amazing lady and has been working her booty off on her weight loss journey.  Kandy you are amazing!  Thank you so much for all your hard work, and motivation!  I am honored to have met you and call you my friend!

If you are in need of some amazing fitness minded friends, these are my ladies!  My fitness sisters, my #superwomanfitfamclub ladies, the women that motivate me, bring me up when I'm down, and are just amazing women in general!  I love each and every one of them!  Check them out!!

         Brooke                      Vanessa                     Kandy                      Ashley                      Dana

                                                                 Erica               Natalie

Don't forget to follow me @DATssocute on Twitter, @Datssocute on Instagram


Surrond yourself
around fitness
minded people.
Positivity can be so


Watkins Glen State Park

Sorry about not posting last week, but I spent an amazing week with my family, best friend, and her family exploring Watkins Glen, New York.  If you've never been, you have to go at least once!  There was so much to do, not only for the adults, but for the kiddos too!  I'm going to write about our camping fun later in the week, but today, it's all about Watkins Glen State Park.

If you are into hiking, walking, fitness or just beauty in nature in general, this place is amazing!  I could make this a very image heavy post, but I'm just going to show you a few, because it was stunning, and the pictures really don't do it justice.

If you've never heard of Watkins Glen, NY, it is located here:

There is tons to do, not only in Watkins Glen, but in neighboring cities like Corning

The great thing about the State Park is people of all different ages can walk it's many trails.  You can start at different locations and choose the difficulty you want.  We started at the bottom and worked our way to the top.  Once at the top, you can walk down a path with no stairs, walk back the way you came, or check out the snack bar at the top and ride an air-conditioned van back to the bottom parking lot.  

The falls were breathtaking!  There were so many of them, and each one was different.  You could see the way the water wore away the rock to form pure beauty in nature.

There were several falls you walked behind, so be prepared to get a little wet.  
We went the day after some rain, so there were several puddles that we carefully walked around.  I wore a pair of new sneakers and they only got a little dirty.  Sneakers or hiking shoes would be your best bet.  We climbed 832 stairs, so wear comfy shoes and depending on the weather, layer your clothes.  It was cool to begin with, but got warm with the walking quickly!

One of the many views from above.

I would highly recommend visiting this beautiful state park! My best friend that grew up in Corning, had never been until we went together, and said she'd be going back! Isn't it funny, each of us has beautiful spots close to us, but don't go to see them?  I am going to start taking the kids on more adventures right around us on those weekends we have nothing to do, so that I can say, we haven't left Ohio unexplored. 

If you have any beautiful spots that you would highly recommend, please leave them in a comment or share on twitter!  

E.E. Cummings


Motivation Monday- Holiday week

I think this says it best!  With the Fourth of July only 4 days away, I need to remind myself, even if it's the Fourth, and I really can eat what I want, do I want to fall into old habits and feel the way I use to?  Holidays were a time of eating everything that was made then feeling like crap afterwards.  At what point do we say to ourselves, enough is enough?  We choose what we put into our bodies.  We choose to eat the food that fuels or food that tastes good as it goes down, then our bodies say, "what the hell is this crap, I'll make you feel like crap for putting it in yourself dummy."  Holidays and birthdays are the worst usually, we go to picnics, or parties that usually the crap food is served.  Hot dogs, hamburgers, pasta salad, chips, and so on.  I will be having a burger, but I'm going out and buying myself a chicken burger, will be passing on the bun and having plenty of fruit and veggies to fill me up.  I choosing to feel good about my holiday choices.

I read once in a magazine, eat at home before going to a party or activity.  This fills you up and you usually won't want any of the high calorie foods. If you do get hungry, or need a snack, grab some fruit or veggie, most parties have those trays.

My biggest problem doesn't lie in the food.  I have a sweet tooth, that I usually choose poorly, then feel horrible afterwards, even knowing the end result.  A great example would be yesterday when I attended a kids birthday party.  Most of the time I can refrain from cake, unless it's from one of the bakeries back home!  I seriously, cannot walk away from a slice of cake or a cupcake from one of my hometown bakeries.  I swear not even 10 mins after I ate half of the cupcake, my stomach hurt and I wanted to throw up from how sweet it was!  Oh the torture I choose, haha.  Anyway, I'm hoping since  while we're camping for the Fourth I don't have any bad foods, I'll be good to go.  Plan, plan, plan, is my best way of choosing wisely!

I don't diet, diets are fads that we do to lose weight.  Eating healthy, choosing wisely, is a way of life. I got rid of my fat clothes, because I have no intentions of gaining that weight back, ever!  Staying focused and choosing foods that help me to stay healthy and fit, is what I choose.

I hope you all have a fantastic Monday, set your goals, stay focused, and crush it!


Throwback Thursday 4th of July style

       With the 4th of July a week away, I thought I would share some pictures from years past.

Looking at these boys, just melts my heart, and I wish I could save them in a bottle so they never grow big.  Thankfully they have grown up loving the camera, as much as I take pictures.  Since they won't stay little forever, at least I have the pictures to look back on! 


Camping 101

Good Thursday Morning all!  It has been a while since posting, and I have missed you all.  Life has been busy, summer is in full swing and fun lies everywhere.

If you didn't already know, we are a camping family.  I grew up going camping with my parents, from towing our little 21' Prowler, to  parking our 34 1/2 Coachman at Big Bear Lake in West Virginia.  I have always loved it, and think it is one of the best ways to spend quality time as a family.  Camping is also a great way to teach your children many life lessons.

When we started camping as a family D was 6 1/2 months old.  We have gone every year since then to Myrtle Beach with my in-laws.  For the first 5 years we were lucky enough to be able to share their space in their RV.
 We spent many years loving the space we were able to share as a family.  It was a great way for us to become close, learn new things about each other, and my boys became close with their grandparents.  When we had little man, we grew too big to fit on the couch in the RV, and finally decided to purchase a camper of our own.  It was one of the best purchases we have made since being together.  We still go camping with the in-laws every summer, we just don't invade their space any more.

Choosing a campground has been pretty easy for us.  We try new campgrounds every season, and learn what we like and don't like, which is a really great way to decide if we will be going back. 

A must for choosing a spot is full hook up.  Call me a diva, or what you will, but I have to have full hook up.  For new campers, that is where a campground has, water, electric and sewage.  I like to be able to go to the bathroom in my own space, take a shower in my own shower, and run the air conditioner so that I don't have to sweat to death, especially in South Carolina in August!  Not every campground has all three.  Some people don't need all those things, it's just a matter of what you can and can't live without.  Many campground have very nice bath houses which many people use instead of their campers, other bath houses, aren't so great.  My favorite bathhouse is at the beach, and I enjoy extra long showers! (the best showers I take all year long)

If you can't afford a camper, there is the option to camp in a tent, or many campgrounds have cabins.  Campers come in many different sizes, shapes and price ranges. We are starting out with one that works for us now.  When the boys get older, the size of our camper will probably have to grow with them. We don't need some enormous, lavish camper, with all the bells and whistles.  We need a place to keep us dry when it rains, warm in the cool spring and fall air, and cold in the summer months. It carries the things we need and so far has been a great little home when we aren't in our Ohio home. Don't think that the option to buy is out, you might be surprised! 

This post is just going to be the first of many camping posts.  I'm going to write about the different campgrounds that we have stayed, what I like and don't like about each.  Tips and tricks for camping with kids.  The things I can't live without while we are in our home away from home.  Items we have made or adjusted to make camping and/or towing easier.  

I'm really excited to start writing again.  There will be recipe and workout posts also.  I have missed you all, and can't wait to hear from you soon!  

Have a beautiful day!  BJ


Central Ohioans Fight Alzheimer's, Summer Solstice Fundraising Celebration

MEDIA ALERT: Central Ohioans Fight Alzheimer’s from Sunrise to Sunset
The Alzheimer’s Association Central Ohio Chapter and Participants.

On The Longest Day, which takes place on the summer solstice, volunteers in Central Ohio and around the world come together to honor the strength, passion and endurance of those facing Alzheimer's with 16 hours of activity and fundraising. Held on the summer solstice, June 21, 2014, this event calls on participants to enjoy an activity of their choice, from sunup to sundown, to raise funds and awareness to advance the efforts of the Alzheimer's Association.

The event takes place on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, to give participants a sense of what 24/7 caregivers experience each day. Participants will take part in more than 16 consecutive hours of an activity of their choice and raise $100 per hour, for a total of $1600 over the course of the day, to show their compassion and support for those living with Alzheimer’s, along with their respect and admiration to the more than 15 million caregiver who provide committed, around-the-clock assistance to those suffering with the disease. Activities can include but are not limited to: bowling, boating, playing cards, walking, playing sports, baking, dancing, hiking, crafting, etc. Individuals and groups can organize activities and rally friends and family to partake and raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association.

To participate, individuals and groups can visit http://act.alz.org/site/TR?fr_id=5860&pg=entry

Saturday, June 21, 2014

WHERE:Central Ohio, National, International

MEDIA CONTACT:For additional information and to interview or to be put in touch with families and groups in Central Ohio who are participating, please contact Heather DeSantisDeSantis@rmdadvertising or (614) 794.2008.