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My Black Friday deal for you: A Honey Cloudz Giveaway!

I was sent a pair of Honey Cloudz to review.

Hey, it's 2018? Why shouldn't my kid get a MRSA infection while the crown on my dental implant decides to LITERALLY go sideways on me? Oh, and the AC? Take a dump, please, while the dog goes in for Cushing's Disease testing.

(And as I type this today, I just cracked a wisdom tooth. Great.)

What I'm getting at is I literally cannot wait for this year to go away. Don't get me wrong -- many amazing things have happened (like nearly 90 pounds off my caboose), but the year has pretty much been a dumpster fire for family and friends.

I think we all can use a little somethin' somethin' right about now, and to you I give you the somethin' somethin' of a great new product for all us sports bra and swimsuit wearing people -- inserts that stay put!

Since losing a bunch o' weight, I've had the pleasure of getting a bunch of new sports bras and swimsuits, and those foam inserts are just the worst! Either they're weirdly shaped, too small, too concave, too wrinkly, too lumpy or too active -- disappearing in the washing machine, or folding in half while you're trying to wrestle on your bra or swimsuit top.

I got some great sports bras from a very popular activewear store, and while I love the bras, I don't love the weird boob wrinkles that the inserts give me.

Enter Honey Cloudz!

They're premium bra/swimsuit inserts that have a grippy face covered with silicone honeycombs that allows the inserts to stay put. They're also a lot smoother than most inserts so you won't have wrinkles or lumps where there shouldn't be any. The part facing your body is a moisture-wicking material. 

The best thing is that they come in two shapes -- half moon or oval -- five sizes from extra small to extra large, and five colors from light to dark.

I have tried them in a couple different sports bras and also in a couple swimsuit tops that have removable pads, and they are absolutely great!

Nothing budged, everything was smooth and comfortable and they went in and came out easily, so you can get a pair and use 'em in all your clothing.

Right now, I'm around a 38C, and I ordered the medium in the half-moon shape. The size fits all my bras and swimsuits perfectly. I also got the lightest color, which is Vanilla Sugar. 

I talked with Honey Cloudz, and they assure me that they'll hold up in the pool:

"The fabric base is polyester, queen of chlorine fabric wise. We have tested them with aqua fitness instructors and competitive swimmers over the course of 12 months of an average 3 swims/classes per week. Some 4-5 and others 2-3. The inserts held up very well in a chlorine and seawater over 12 consistent months."

Here's a video from Honey Cloudz that explains the product more.

And now, a giveaway!

I really love Honey Cloudz and think you will, too. You can take advantage of their Black Friday weekend sale, now through Monday. Use code BLACKFRIDAYWEEKEND  at 

Or you can try and win a pair! All you need to do is follow the directions on this Rafflecopter form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Stuff I Love: Soybu activewear (a giveaway!)

Soybu sent me an outfit to review and is also offering a piece of clothing to one lucky reader.

I pretty much live in workout clothes, so I'm always in search of activewear that's cute, comfortable and performs well. I used to workout in a uniform of baggy T-shirts over black capris but a few years ago I realized that 1.) The baggy T-shirts get in the way of working out 2.) It doesn't look good. So I stepped up my style game at the gym.

I had heard of Soybu activewear but hadn't had a chance to try it out until I got back from this year's FitBloggin' in Denver. As a speaker at the conference I was given a pair of Soybu leggings, which I immediately fell in love with. Super comfy and great looking. 

After the conference Soybu contacted me to do a review/giveaway and I jumped at the chance. Here's what I chose:

Soybu outfit

That's the Alyse Hoody in Vermillion burnout, the Lola Tank in Ethereal Blue and the Allegro Capri in the Mandala print. The hoody is great for warmer climates because it's super lightweight so it gives you a great layering piece. The tank is versatile in that one side is a rounded neck and the other is a V-neck so you can flip it around. And the capris are WONDERFUL. You can't see in the photo but the bottom of the leg opening is shirred, which gives it even more style. I love the pattern, and there's a little pocket in the front to slip my iPod in. 

The fabric on all three pieces is super soft and stretchy. I did a Pilates workout after I snapped this photo and there was no digging or riding up or down. Just bliss. 

Another great thing about the Soybu line is its extensive size range -- extra small to 3X, which is a welcome change for many activewear companies. All my pieces are the 1X size, and while the arms on the hoody are a little snug the tank runs a little big and the capris are absolutely perfect.

Soybu giveaway

Now, here's the cool part -- I get to give away one of these pieces! (Don't worry, you'll get a new piece in your size.) 

Just follow the Rafflecopter instructions and you're all set!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Chocolate Day giveaway: Balance Bars

This giveaway is sponsored by Balance Bar.

Oh, hey -- Happy National Chocolate Day! 

Balance barsIt's OK -- I didn't send out cards either, but I did get you a present: a chance to win a box of super chocolatey Balance Bars, specifically Chocolate Craze and Double Chocolate brownie bars.

I love-love-LOVE chocolate -- the darker the better, and these protein bars are really chocolatey. The Double Chocolate Brownie has a brownie consistency with a drizzle of chocolate on top, while the Chocolate Craze is a super-fudgy bar covered in even more chocolate.

Both bars are 200 calories apiece with 14 grams of protein, and the Balance refers to the 40 percent carb-30 percent protein and 30 percent fat ratio. I find that it's a really satisfying ratio, and the bars make a great afternoon snack or a breakfast, when paired with a piece of fruit.

Balance banana

Breakfast of champions, baby. When I have a early morning at the gym, I like to eat the banana on the way to the gym and the Balance Bar on the way back. 

My husband's breakfast of choice is a Balance bar and a glass of chocolate almond milk (we're really into chocolate here). 

So, in the spirit of National Chocolate Day, the folks at Balance Bar would like to give one of you a big box of Chocolate Craze and Double Chocolate Brownie bars. All you need to do is follow the directions on the Rafflecopter below to enter. The giveaway ends at midnight on November 1 so get going!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

An egg-shaped brunch (and giveaway!)

Eggs asparagus
Eggland's Best wanted to know whether I'd like to take part in a brunch-themed post and host a giveaway.

Of course! (I love a no-brainer.)  I always have a carton of Eggland's Best organic eggs in the fridge -- they frequently run coupons in the Sunday paper, and I'm all about the bargains.

Sunday morning, I tried a recipe that I found on Cooking Light's website. It had the quintessential springtime vegetable -- asparagus -- plus ham and cheese, which was sure to lure in the teenager.

I doubled the recipe because the original only serves two, so I used a 12-inch skillet and cooked it a bit longer and at a slightly lower temperature so I didn't torch the bottom of it. 

This dish turned out great -- two big slices for only 250 calories and an impressive 31 grams of protein.

I had intended to make a couple more eggy dishes but I used nearly the entire dozen eggs on this baby. And this dish was really filling -- while I served it for brunch, it'd make a great dinner as well.

Frittata in the panHam and Asparagus Frittata

(from "Cooking Light" magazine, April 2004)

  • 2/3 cup chopped 33%-less-sodium ham (about 3 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded low-fat Jarlsberg cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 large eggs
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup (1-inch) slices asparagus
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Preheat broiler.

Combine ham, cheese, black pepper, salt, egg whites, and eggs, stirring well with a whisk.

Heat a 9-inch nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and asparagus; sauté 3 minutes. Add egg mixture; reduce heat to medium. Cook, covered, 3 minutes or until almost set. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Wrap handle of pan with foil; broil 3 minutes or until egg is set. Cut into 4 wedges.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutritional information:

  • Calories: 251 
  • Calories from fat: 33%
  • Fat: 9.2g
  • Saturated fat: 3.4g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.5g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.1g
  • Protein: 31.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 9.6g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 247mg
  • Iron: 2.1mg
  • Sodium: 791mg
  • Calcium: 373mg

Finished frittata
So, about that giveaway...

Eggland's Gift Pack PhotoThe gift pack includes:

  • Coupon for one free dozen Eggland’s Best eggs
  • Ceramic mixing bowl
  • Egg-shaped wooden cutting board
  • Whisk
  • Bowl scraper
  • Ceramic mug
  • Eco bag

To win this gift, just let me know your favorite egg dish in the comments. If you need inspiration, the Eggland’s Best website has lots of recipe ideas, like a Breakfast Burrito and a Sunny Side Breakfast Pizza. You also can check out Eggland's Best on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest

Submit your comment by Friday, April 12 at 11:59 p.m. ET, and I'll choose a winner.

(Wow, can you believe I didn't use one egg pun in this entire post?) 

Disclosure: The Eggland’s Best information and two gift packs have been provided by Eggland’s Best.

Inspiration: It's all in the jeans

I have a problem -- everything in my closet fits.

Why is that a problem? Clothing wise, I have nothing to shoot for. Nothing's tight, nothing's too small. Even my "inspiration jeans" fit me.

I need new inspiration pants.

At the beginning of the year I had bought some cute embroidered jeans at Avenue in a size 18. Then I got serious about losing weight and those quickly turned saggy baggy on me. The jeans were still in stock at the store so I grabbed a pair of size 16s. Now those fit very comfortably.

Here's the cool part -- at Avenue, sizes start at 14, so when I go to buy new inspiration jeans they'll be the smallest size in the store.

Nike every damn day shirtAh, but who says inspiration has to be in a pair of jeans? While I was writing this, the mail showed up with a small package. In it was a Nike T-shirt I bought on eBay and mentioned earlier this week.

It's the smallest extra-large T-shirt I've ever seen and I really want to wear it, so I'm hanging it in my office and will look at it every time I'm tempted to surf Twitter or blow off a workout.

Attune Foods giveaway!

Remember, if you want to win a coupon for a free Attune Foods product, you need to check out the post HERE and get commenting! Deadline is Halloween. (Oct. 31 for those new to this planet.)

And now, this week's HealthBuzz

Motivation Monday: Extreme moderation!

I had been making myself nutty the past few months year trying to string together a couple weeks of consistent weight loss. Then, a couple weeks ago, the Weight Loss Shrink and I came up with a plan for me to weigh in every morning, to stay accountable to myself and see how what I ate and how I moved the day before would reflect on the scale the next morning.

For example:

  • Salmon & veggies and a Shaun T Rockin' Body workout: Good.
  • No exercise, pizza, ribs, chicken sausage and teriyaki chicken wings for dinner: Bad. (Suffice to say, I'm bringing my own food to Sunday extended family dinner from now on.)

That's kinda obvious, isn't it? While in the past I would have skittered past the scale this morning, I said to myself "That's not how we're doing it now." And I weighed.

But! (and it's a smaller butt...)

I have lost 4 pounds in the past couple weeks. Even though the scale went up a pound this morning, I know exactly why, and that momentary blip will work its way off today.

That's why I love weighing in every day -- it gives me immediate feedback, feeds my ADD-addled psyche.

And that's really the only thing different I've been doing the past few weeks. Keeping my calories around 1,500-ish, working out at least four days a week and writing everything down in my fitbook (want one?).

I haven't been following any special plan, haven't been doing any special workout "system" -- just walking the walk.

  Extreme moderation! Rocknroll

My headspace feels much lighter, too. I now know I can drop weight doing what I'm doing; I just need to check in with myself every morning.

Dancing I also learned -- thanks to my BodyMedia FIT -- that dancing and dance-related workouts give you the most bang for my workout buck. The BodyMedia Activity Manager not only shows you how many calories you've burned and how many steps you've taken, it also shows whether your activity was moderate or vigorous. Most of the workouts I do log as moderate but the Rockin' Body DVD was a whole lot of vigorous as was my moment of dancing to Cee Lo Green in the office on Friday. Also vigorous? Running up a pedestrian ramp at a Marlins game.

So, unlike anything I've done lately, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing. It's easy, enjoyable and -- waddya know! -- effective.

My question to you (with a prize)

10minbelly How often do you weigh yourself? Two random commenters will win a copy of the DVD 10 Minute Solution Best Belly Blasters! Very cool, because it's so new it hasn't been officially released yet. There are six separate 10-minute ab workouts featuring Jessica Smith, Lara Hudson, Amy Bento, Jennifer Galardi and Suzanne Bowen.

You have until Monday, Aug. 8 to get your comments in.




Get fit(book) Friday: Filch a fantastic fitbook for free!

FitbookPINK So guess what? Angela Manzanares, the mastermind behind the fitbook, my favorite weight-loss journal, just up and gave me two copies of the limited-edition fitbook PINK, which benefits breast cancer. They won't even be available again until October but you can score one from me.

I'm constantly trying out various ways of journaling food and exercise and I keep coming back to the Fitbook. It provides places to plan out your day, your week, even the entire 12-week book if you like to think big picture.

It's a spiral-bound 5.5 by 5.5 inch size and comes with a little pen that slides into the spiral spine, so it's perfect to tote around the house, take to work or stash in your bag so you can keep track of your dinner out.

Every day there are places to write down your strength, cardio or flexibility workouts, jot down notes and keep a food log with plenty of space for calorie and/or nutrient tracking.

At the end of each week you have a Weekly Wrap Up, where you check off whether you did your workout, your inspirations, and the good and not-so-good parts of your week. At the beginning of the next week, you can preplan your workouts and write down your weight, body fat percentage and your goals for working out and nutrition. There's even a place to jot down a reward you're planning should you meet those goals.

I've been using it (again) faithfully for the past two weeks and I'm already down an amazing (for me) 4 pounds. I used to think that I had to be accountable to others for weight-loss success -- turns out just being truthful and accountable to myself every day can work wonders.

Now, how can you win a fitbook? Just these three things:

  1. Tell me in the comments section what you use now to track your workouts/food and why it works for you and your current 12-week goal that you’d like to track using the fitbook if you win. [1 entry]
  2. Follow Shrinking Sisters on Facebook and me on twitter [1 entry]
  3. Follow fitbook on Twitter & Facebook  [1 entry]

You have until 11:59 p.m. ET, Friday, Aug. 5, to enter the fabulous fitbook fiesta. After that I'll choose the winner, get your info and a brand new fitbook will be winging its way to you.

Why, this makes me want to dance -- everybody dance!

(Yeah, the video is ridiculously over the top, but I love Cee Lo)

My most 'go-to' dinner of them all

We've already checked out my go-to breakfasts and lunches so now it's time for dinner.

I don't really have all that many tricks up my sleeve for dinner because often it's something super simple like a baked salmon fillet or chicken breast, frozen broccoli and a baked potato. (And -- shhhh, don't tell Martha Stewart -- sometimes it's salad and a frozen pizza, but something healthy like Kashi or Amy's.)

But every now and then I like to stir up a batch of chili -- yes, even in summer.

I've been tweaking my go-to recipe for years, subbing out proteins, beans and spices. My latest tweak is because of the BlogHer Knorr Four Recipe Contest. I'm one of 200 bloggers vying to become one of the Knorr Four – a panel of bloggers who will share insights and expertise to provide tips and recipes.

Knorr_stock My entree is Confetti Chicken Chili -- "Confetti" because it's really colorful with the variety of peppers, onions and beans. It uses Knorr's new Homestyle Concentrated Chicken Stock, which comes in a four-pack of little tubs, and each tub makes 4 cups of stock.

The recipe makes 6 servings so it's great for a couple nights of dinners. Either enjoy it as is or dish it over brown rice, quinoa or a baked potato. If you're not a fan of black beans, try white ones, or pintos. (The photo below used white kidney beans.)

Confetti Chicken Chili

  • Gail_chili 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (or to taste)
  • 1 pound ground chicken breast
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz. can no-salt-added tomatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 tub Knorr Homestyle Concentrated Chicken Stock

Heat olive oil in extra-large skillet or dutch oven. Add onions, peppers and garlic and cook until translucent. Add chicken and cook until browned. Add rest of ingredients, cover and cook on medium-low heat for 45 minutes.

(If making recipe in slow cooker, add all ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours. It'll be a little soupier but it's great over rice.)

Each serving is around 375 calories each with a bountiful 12 grams of fiber per serving.

Fiber One contest deadline today

You only have a couple hours left to enter my Fiber One giveaway, so if you're interested, get crackin' over HERE.