So thanks to one of the lulu Facebook groups I’ve also fallen victim to a Fossil watch addiction. I had no clue they made Rose Gold coloured items. I LOVE Rose Gold, LOVE it. so this was a natural choice for me.
And then once I had the watch I couldn’t resist the sun glasses to match!
So I wanted to do a “My favourite things” post to summarize the year… I kinda missed doing it in January. Oops. Oh well I’ve actually found a lot of things since then so all the better to talk about!
10. I tried the Garnier BB cream which is an awesome tinted moisturizer. I actually now think that it makes me a little too shiny. But I love the feel and smell of it. I use it when I want something a little lighter then my usual MAC foundation.
9. Kenesiology tape which I’ve posted about before is still a favourite of mine. I have awful knees and for my long runs I tape them up and they are great!
8. My lovely fiancé got me a Kindle for xmas and it is awesome. I was kinda hesitant at first but now I’m even adding books I own in paper just so I can re-read them on my kindle.
7. I started running in the Nike Free+ 3.0s as a last ditch effort to get rid of shin splints. I’ve run over 200km in them now and I haven’t once had any shin pain. They are a more minimal run shoe then I was used to so I had to build up some ankle and knee strength but now I absolutely won’t run in anything else. I need to buy more… Lots more. (P.S. Nike - Your new website is super hard to find things on!!!)
6. I bought my first pair of TOMS ballet flats recently in the catino print, they actually hurt the back of my foot for a while but I think they are nicely broken in now. Wearing them right now at work in fact, they go really nicely with my Flash light CRB and my Pow Pink My Mantra LS.
5. Also for shoes I bought my first pair of sanuks - I got the Yoga Twist flip flop and I have to say they are like walking on 100 yoga mats. So soft and dreamy.
4. I also decide to upgrade my old Polar HR monitor to a GPS watch and since I love the Nike+ soft wear I’ve been running on my phone since October of 2010 I decided to get the Nike Sportwatch. It has some bad reviews but I have no idea why. You have to sync it before each run to have the un-to-date data, but if you do that it works great.
3. For my aerial performance this year I decided to go a little further with my make up and I bought brushes from Sephora and pigment from MAC to do my eyes. I’m now crazy in love with pigments - you can make anything - Eye shadow, nail polish, blush, bronzer - the list goes on. This has started a new obsession with MAC products.
2. CURLING WANDS! I cheeped out and got the Remington Pearl ($25) rather then the Sultra Bombshell ($130) but it works amazing. I’ve never had my hair take curl before and this is a curl I can sleep on and have lighter waves the next day. Amazing!
1. Last and not least you all know I’m rarely seen without a Tiny Devotions Mala bead necklace! Love them so much. Gotta be my most favourite thing of all!
I might be a little premature with this review for the Nike+ Sportwatch and I would like to say that while this watch has some outstanding reviews it has an equal number of bad reviews from everything from bad connectivity to loosing runs to the band breaking. That said, I think I might be in love… again… I fall in love a lot it seems.
Anyways I’ve been wanting a GPS watch for a while now but since I haven’t had one before (I currently have a Polar F8 heart rate monitor - that I have had a great time with) so I didn’t want to drop a ton of money incase I didn’t like it. Also the really expensive Garmin GPS watches are butt ugly - like really, why do they have to look so bad? Though I was considering the Garmin Forerunner 410 (and it looks fine) but it came down to the fact that I like the Nike+ system and the price was better. But this watch was $165 (at MEC) and it’s beautiful. The one down side is I have very petite wrists and the front portion is actually wider then my wrist, so when it’s done up right I have a gap… which I can live with, it’s still comfortable to wear as long as it gets the job done I’m happy enough with the fit. I would also like to note that a few of the negative reviews I read online were from men who said that the strap was way to short for them and they were on the last notch. I’m right in the middle and as mentioned have tiny wrists so I’m inclined to agree that the band is small. To be honest I’m not sure why the notches start so far up, if someone had wrist much smaller then mine no amount of cinching would make this fit nice…
I’ve run with it twice now and while I agree with some of the reviews that the connectivity to the satellites can sometimes take a minute both times I’ve been out it has connected by the time I got out of my crescent which I think is reasonable. Also while it uses satellites for GPS it also has the option to connect to the Nike+ shoe pebble (which it comes with) this is so if you are somewhere that you loose the GPS signal it will pick-up the shoe pebble data and give you more accurate tracking regardless of signal. I was still running with my iPhone also to compare the results and they were within 0.4km both times which I think again is reasonable. I know one of the MAJOR issues with GPS watches is that people find them inaccurate. The nice thing about the Nike+ stuff is that it actually gets better with time. If you keep using it and using it correctly it will get used to how you run and get more accurate. So I think 0.4km is fine for now and I’m interested to see if it improves.
This watch is really easy to use, aside from the running features (Pace, Average Pace, Time, Distance, Calories, GPS) it has a stopwatch feature, nice clock display, touch activated back light, and run history. Also in the latch it has a USB connection so you can plug it into your computer to charge the battery and to sync the run data with the Nike+ website.
This watch does work as a heart rate monitor but you need to buy a Polar transmitter strap. I was excited about this because I already have the polar strap as I my battery died in my last one and it was so old that the battery wasn’t user replaceable so I got a brand new one in December…. I was having issues syncing them so I started googling and I guess their are 2 identical straps and one has a little red Nike+ mark on it… Mine doesn’t have that soooo I guess I don’t have the right strap after all. Colour me dumbfounded. Oh well, I care less and less about heart rate when I’m running and I hate wearing the chest strap (though the new polar one is WAY better then my old one) so I’ll wait a couple months and get the right one I guess.
I’m trying to think of what else to say about it but I think I’ve written enough. So I guess I’ll just get on with the photos. Oh and I’m including some screen shots from the website and the watch’s soft wear the website has great route mapping (I’ve included one from a cross country ski I did in Canmore before I got this watch, the maps look the same).
I’ve run in just about every brand of runners known to man I think. Currently most of my runners are a trail or trail/road hybrid runner but on pavement I’ve been getting really bad shin splints for the first 5-7km of each run. I’ve tried with some moderate success using k-tape and compression socks, which I find lessen the duration of the pain but don’t cut it out all together. So I’ve decided to give a new pair of runners a shot. Most of the runners I have are fairly new and I think right now I have a pair of Brooks, a pair of Asics and a pair of Salomon trail runners. All of which give me shin splints on pavement. So since their was a colour I REALLY wanted I decided to try a minimalist running shoe that I’ve heard a lot of good things about. The Nike Frees come in some pretty awesome colours and have a really light weight and comfortable fit. They do take some adjustment and I’m cutting back my mileage until I’m sure my ankles are going to hold up okay to them. I went for a 6km run on my lunch break today and so far I’ve got to say that these seem like great runners. I didn’t have any shin issue to speak of which is always a good run for me. The ball of my left foot is a little sore now but that is my less dominate foot so it likely just needs more training then my other foot which is fine. My ankles were a little sore while I was running but feel fine now so I think the 6km was a good spot to stop. I do a lot of trail running in the summer but I also have a few 1/2 marathons that I’m training for which will require more road running so I’m going to dedicate these runners to the road training and see how it goes. I don’t think I could stomach taking these beauties out in the muddy trails and getting them all dirty so I’m going to stick to my Gore Tex Salomon’s for those runs I think (I never get shin splints off of pavement anyways).
Today I want to talk about one of my new loves in life - Tiny Devotions. They are a company of “Boho gypsies, yogi fashionistas who spread awareness about mala beads that inspire their wearers to live more peaceful intention based lives.”
For those of you not familiar with mala beads they have some amazing videos on their site that I would very much recommend watching, they also have a blog that is very informative (I found myself tearing up at some of the stories in there as well) but this is what Wikipedia has to say about malas (you need to search prayer beads):
“Prayer beads, or Japa Malas, are also used in many forms of Mahayana Buddhism, often with a lesser number of beads (usually a divisor of 108). In Pure Land Buddhism, for instance, 27 bead malas are common. In Tibetan Buddhism malas are also 108 beads: one mala counts as 100 mantras, and the 8 extra are meant to be dedicated to all sentient beings (the practice as a whole is dedicated at its end as well). Various type of materials are used to make mala beads such as seeds of the rudraksha tree, beads made from the wood of thetulasi plant, animal bone, wood or seeds from the Bodhi tree or seeds of the lotus plant. Semi-precious stones like carnelian andamethyst is also used. Another commonly used material is sandalwood.”
Crystals are something I’ve always, even as a child, felt strongly about. Crystals are said to carry different energetic qualities. These malas are supposed to help you focus your intentions for meditation based on those specific energetic qualities of the Guru stone. I don’t believe crystals are a cure-all or “magic”, but there is a wonderful thing about crystals in that they allow you to focus your meditation on a positive intention, and it’s up to the wearer to manifest this intention into reality. It’s amazing the things you can bring into your life simply from believing them.
I got the African Jade Mala - this is what TD says about it: “This Jade and black onyx mala is associated with the strength and good luck. As the dream stone, jade is said to provide insightful dreams. Jade is known to attract good luck and friendship and protects its wearer from Harm. Feel free to use this mala as your body guard and your good luck charm.”
The ladies at TD say that often the best way to select a mala is to choose what you are drawn to. The shape of the stone, the colour, the energy - it’s all important but if there is one you just can’t take your eyes off of - it might just be the one.
Here are a couple more I’m drawn too:
Black Onyx: Besides being a glamorous stone that can be worn with a little black dress on any fashionista, black onyx is the stone of strength. It can provide self confidence and the assistance in mastering one’s destiny. The stone also helps cultivate self control and wise decision.
Amethyst Om Mala: Amethyst is known as a very powerful stone to wear as jewelry. It vibrates a beautiful spiritual energy and can help you further cultivate tranquillity, peace and calmness.
I love these malas, I love the look, I love the intention behind them and after a little getting used to I love the roughness of the rudraksha seeds around my neck. TD has some malas made from Sandal wood beads which are said to be more of a meditative bead where as the rudraksha seeds are more of a healing bead. This is what Wikipedia had to say about the rudraksha seed (I learned a lot from Wikipedia today):
“Rudraksha Mala has been used by Hindus (as well as Sikhs and Buddhists) as rosary at least from the 10th century onwards for meditation purposes and to sanctify the mind, body and soul. The word Rudraksha is derived from Rudra (Shiva—the Hindu God of all living creatures) and aksha (eyes). One Hindu legend says that once Lord Shiva opened His eyes after a long period yogic meditation, because of extreme fulfillment He shed out a tear. This single tear from Shiva’s eye grew into the Rudraksha tree. Rudraksha fruit is blue in color but turns black when dried.”
I hope all the above information is accurate and again if you would like to learn more about these beautiful malas please dig around on the TD website and have a wonderful time learning about these unique malas and the company that makes them. And if you want a laugh watch this video made by Tiny Devotions.
And my thanks to Tiny Devotions for letting me use their wonderful photography.