These are a FEW of my Favorite Things
Friends, I want you to ALL know that this blog entry has been a labor of love. Oh my gosh never has a blog entry given me so much grief. But it will be worth it! I am compiling several of my very favorite companies and their products in hopes that it might help you find the perfect someone for you or for a friend on your Christmas list. That being said, I've had a heck of a time with the links and pictures for each of the companies (I'm not sure why), so I am adding the pictures to a gallery (in no particular order) and am embedding links within the text below. Make sense? Or as in our house we like to say, "Capiche?" No, I'm not Italian - I just like to pretend to be.
Below you will find everything from running and athletic gear, to cute tongue in cheek tanks, to super hot yoga clothes, female only gym gear, yummy foods, favorite restaurants, and jewelry. It's a broad scope of my favorites.
This list is not all-inclusive nor is it exclusive - meaning there are so many more companies I would LOVE to include but didn't this time around AND that many companies offer similar products. I love ALL companies, ALL brands, and many times wear/eat/use each of them daily if not weekly. I didn't want to NOT tell you about xyz company only because it "competes" with another. If I like it enough, I'm sharing it below. Again, Capiche?
Here goes nothing...
INKnBURN - I love INKnBURN because all their styles are completely original. Their designs are literally pieces of artwork. All designs, printing, and manufacturing is done right here in the USA. I applaud that. I love that their pieces are meant to work with the body. Their fabric is breathable, wicks away moisture, and stretches with your body's movement. Prices start high $30s. All their designs are limited, and once they run out they are gone. I always have to snag what I want early if I really want it.
Fire Daughter Clothing - I have known and worked with Samya for years. She is a beautiful soul and takes pride in all her pieces. She creates and presses each design by hand. They are her "goodies" as she likes to call them, and I always love receiving new tanks and hoodies from her because I know the love and heart she puts in to everything she does. Prices start in mid $30s.
NEERG Activewear - Ronda and I date back around a year or so. She and her hubby own several Complete Nutrition stores here in Utah. Being the fitness addict that she is, she started a side business. She carries several leading yoga and training brands - all her favorites - including Better Bodies, Dona Jo, Onzie, and others. I love all the capris and leggings she chooses, but she also stocks up on unique sports bras that are super fun. A lot of people comment on my Better Bodies tights when I wear them - including my husband. I got them from Ronda. Ronda runs online promotions too which she'll usually announce on IG, so be sure to follow her. Promo code #mommagal gets you 15% off most everything. Most everything starts in the mid $30s
AFFITNITY offers some of the cutest yoga tops and bottoms. I don't think I've done a photo shoot yet where I haven't used at least one pair of Zeudy's short shorts. They are so comfortable, give just enough coverage, and show off the legs. She offers vibrant colored yoga outfits as well as the standard black. I'm loving the NEW black mesh yoga leggings I just picked up. They are reasonably priced too at $59.99!
Femme Fitale Fitness was the leader of cute gloves in the fitness industry as far as I'm concerned. From studded colorful fingerless workout gloves to animal print golf gloves, I love everything that my friend, Tracy, releases. Her gloves are really well made and last forever. I even got my mom hooked on the golf gloves. Who doesn't love bling? Golf gloves start at $19.95 and crystal workout gloves are $27.50.
Sparkle & Sweatshop has taken women's workout fashion by storm. I have HUGE admiration for all that Bonnie has done. Bonnie introduced her cute patterned workout gloves a few years back and has since released everything from different varieties of workout gloves (boxing, fitness (both fingered and fingerless), ankle straps, gym bags, wrist straps, lifting belts, and apparel. Her focus is primarily women, and she comes out with new product several times a year. Most products start as low as $13. I used to have a promotion code with Bonnie, so I'm hoping it still works for you guys. I personally love a discount, so it's worth trying "GALS" should save up 20%.
Creative Galina. Galina and I go way back. I really don't even know how to describe how much I love this woman. She is such an amazing artist, and she has an incredible story. She creates every single piece by hand - with most everything being original (meaning no two pieces are alike). Galina truly puts her heart in to her jewelry. I've been the lucky recipient of several pieces. My favorite being my DB "Pure Love" Bracelet. She works mostly with precious metals that WON'T tarnish. I wear my pieces often in the shower and to the gym, and they still look brand new. If your passion is fitness, and you want a piece that will last over time, take a look.
B-Up Bars by YUP Brands. As a clean-eater I am always looking for healthy, balanced options. I was so excited to find YUP Brands a couple of years ago. They offer several unique flavors (Red Velvet Cupcake anyone?) that I am crazy abpit. I love that their bars are lower in fat and offer balanced macros for both carbs and protein. There are countless protein bars on the market that are nothing more than glorified protein added candy bars. Sure they're good, but they're not necessarily "healthy". I can work B-Up Bars in to my diet and not have to think twice. Bonus! These are a staple in my house. Both Greg and I go through a box almost every week! No joke! Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is another fave!
Quest Protein Power. I haven't found anything that bakes near as well as Quest protein powder. Period. The end. It's my go-to any time I want to make a protein pudding, a mug cake, waffles, or pancakes. My current favorite is Cinnamon Crunch, but it's not available QUITE yet (soon!). I love all the flavors, but the staples like Vanilla, are always in my pantry. Being completely transparent, before I realized how wonderfully this stuff baked I threw plenty of Quest protein powder away after trying to use it for shakes. My bad and shame on me. I hate waste, and I wasted a ton!! I'm still mad at myself for that. Now that I know just how awesome it is when used for baked goods, I really do watch for sales. It's worth it.
G2G Protein Bars. So yes, this is another protein bar that I love. BTW I also love the protein bars put out by Quest, but I chose to focus on their protein powder. With G2G I wanted to feature them because they are a NEWER find. They, like a few other of the companies I am featuring, are local. The owner trains at the same gym as me. A good friend of mine told me about their bars F-O-R-E-V-E-R but because of my loyalty to B-Up I was hesitant. Not to mention that just a few months ago I was in full contest prep mode and fats were pretty much non-existent in my diet. True story. But now? Hells Bells! Bring them on! These are meal replacements for sure - at least for me. They are a good balance of carbs, proteins, and fats. They are extremely filling and such a treat. Everything is completely natural, fresh, gluten free, and as close to fresh as you can get. They will NOT last in your house. Even my ultra picky 7 year old likes them. That says something. These are a GREAT alternative for your teen lunches or for your snacks. I can't say enough good about them. Seriously. Try them.
Halo Top Ice cream. Okay I do not have a special for these guys, but oh my! If you think healthy ice cream has to taste like crap think again. I was a total non-believer until my cute friend, Nicole, convinced me to try it. She enticed me with the flavor "mocha". I have since tried their mocha, lemon cake (my current favorite and I don't even love lemon anything) and birthday flavors, and they are ALL good. Please keep in mind those are not their "official" named flavors. All of them are good though. Here's the key, let the ice cream sit for a few minutes to soften just a bit, and then it's good to go. It's super creamy just like normal ice cream, offers a good amount of protein and is lower calorie and carb. Oftentimes Greg and I will hit a yogurt (Menchies) or ice cream (Coldstone) place after our date, and while both are super yummy by my standards, Halo Top gives me a way healthier option. I can still add stuff to it if I want to, but at least the base ice cream is within reason. Yum. Try
Bucked Up by DAS Labs. I had to add it. I am pretty passionate and really picky when it comes to my pre-workout. I train 6 days a week. I love lifting. I love getting a pump during my workouts, but man those early mornings really kick me in the butt. It's hard to get up! And honestly as much as I love to train there are times I'm just not feeling it. "Bucked-Up" really does help. It gives me the right amount of caffeine (they are actually lower than many that are out there for those of you who are worried about too much caffeine), helps me focus, and provides me the energy to push harder than when lifting without. It really is worth the hype. They full disclose everything in their labeling (unlike many supplement companies) too which allows you to know for certain what you are putting in to your body. No surprises and no cutting corners. My 2 favorite flavors? Blood Raz and Watermelon - no question. DAS recently came out with BCAAs "Racked" too which I am a big fan of. Pre-workout helps you before you get to the gym. BCAAs help you during and after your workout. It helps with protein synthesis. It helps to "tide me over" until my next meal. By taking BCAAs during your workout your workout is not in vain. Their BCAAs also include a fat burner which will help you burn more calories - resulting in fat loss. Again, bonus! As an athlete with DAS Labs, if you use my code "jen20" at checkout you'll get 20% off your total AND receive free shipping. Don't forget this! It helps a ton!
Mantra Bands. If you know me, you know I am a hell of a sappy fool. I love words, quotes, and anything that moves me. While I have found several jewelry companies who promote "sayings", I am drawn to Mantra Bands time and time again because their bands are classy, thin, elegant, and beautiful. You'll find motivational saying on everything from journey to life to love to new beginning. Guaranteed you'll find something that speaks to you. I'm wearing my "Live What You Love" Mantra Band right now. I have a list though of bands I still want to get. They come in 3 different shades as well, so if you want to wear several (as bangles) it looks pretty cool. You can buy them direct, or you'll find them at retailers like Nordstrom. Retail their $25 each - totally worth it. These too I wear in the shower, and they always stay looking brand new.
BRAVE GIRL UNIVERSITY products and online classes. Before fitness I worked in the scrapbooking world for 10 years. Yep! It's true! I used to be kind of crafty and had boxes of scrapbooking and stamping products that filled up my basement. I have since kept a few but given most of them away. It was truly super hard for me to do because I loved my scrapbooking stuff. They were like my babies. I worked hard to acquire it! During my 10 years there I met some incredible women - one of them being Melody Ross. She is someone you'll want to know, follow, and learn from. I have never met anyone more real, more passionate, and more talented than Mel. She is my kindred spirit, my big sis, and someone I look up to immensely. She started Brave Girls Club years ago, has released several lines of products under her name, and heads up the now Brave Girl University. I teach one class currently under the University but there are literally hundreds of online classes for you to choose from - everything you could possibly imagine. I'm not kidding. If you are looking to learn and grow in 2017, I challenge you to check out Brave Girl University. Guaranteed you'll find something of interest. And please if you ever talk to Mel, let her know how much I love her. When she knows you are a friend of mine, she will treat you like a sis. She is a beautiful human.
MAMBI. Okay I don't have this yet, but I am planning to get it. Yes, even though I have been on my fitness journey now for 10 years, I still need a little fun reminder. I saw this 365 The Happy Planner 2017 fitness journal put out by MAMBI (Me and My Big Ideas), and I need to have it. Journeys are very personal. At the beginning it can be so hard. It can be frustrating. 1 step forward 2 steps back. The scale goes down....and it goes up. People compliment you and then they don't. It's a hard process. This journal will give you the opportunity to have fun, to document your experience, to set goals, to mark achievements, to pencil in important dates, and to basically write down anything that's important to YOU during your journey. I know that so many of you (myself included) will be setting goals come 2017, this is a very affordable piece that will help make those goals a reality. I've seen this at JoAnn's as well as at Hobby Lobby. Look around. Right now there are some good coupons too which will help you save up to 50%. Regularly I believe this kit is around $45.
Rock My Run. Training partners will come and go, but Rock My Run will be with you forever! LOL. No seriously, I have been using their music playlists since I started my own transformation journey all those years ago. This year I worked with them to release my very own She Lifts Gear playlist, which I must admit, totally rocks! But beyond that you’ll find playlists that totally match your music style. I promise! Country, Rock, Classic Rock, Easy Listening, Country, Alternative, Pop, Grunge, Disco, Hip Hop…hundreds and hundreds of playlists. They offer a newer feature too where the music will match your stride, your tempo, or whatever setting you want to use to control the speed of the playlist you are listening to. I know there’s Pandora, I Heart Radio, and Spotify, but I still use Rock my Run more! For a $30 something yearly fee I have access to everything. Enter SHELIFTS at checkout, and you'll get a free month!!
Lipsense from Carola. Just last week I mentioned Lipsense on my IG and All Things Fitness for Gals Facebook page. People. If you want a lipstick/stain that lasts for hours, is smudge proof, and looks like you just BARELY put it on even hours later? Check out Lipsense. I was a non-believer, but after trying a few different shades, I am sold. I love this stuff. My friend, Carola, sells it, and she knows her stuff. I know there are many who are selling it now, but if you don’t already know someone give Carola a call or text. She is well educated and very thorough. I love it so much I am hoping to give it to my mom, sister, and even Zane’s birthmom this Christmas.
Kinvara running shoes by Saucony. Sorry, I do not have a code or anything that might help you, but…. These are my absolute favorite running shoes. I have many, and I do trade off, but my go-to running shoes? Saucony. I’m a big fan of Kinvara, but I am currently testing a brand new (new to me) shoe – the Ride 9 LR. It’s also a neutral running shoe, but from what I’ve learned it’s still lightweight but offers a little more cushion for neutral runners. I’m thinking I might even end up liking them more than Kinvaras because if you remember right I’m feeling more pain than ever in my joints. I’m old! I need what help I can find. You know? So, tomorrow I’ll give these new shoes a try, but if you are in to running, know that you are a neutral runner, give the Kinvaras a try for sure. I’ve given most of my other shoes away.
Chucks by Converse (now owned by Nike). I think we all have a certain style. I’ve found mine. I love Chucks. Converse. High tops. Low tops. Mid tops. I love them all. I really, really do. My workout outfit is not complete without my Chucks. Pink, grey, black, white, patterned, leather, camo, you name it. I love and own them all. I even picked up some new pink grunge Chucks today at the outlet, and I know for a fact that Greg ordered me another pair of pink with black shoelace and striping for Christmas. Love Chucks.
I think I’m going to call it there, but I will add that if you are around here, a foodies, and want the best service, food, and overall experience? Check out Waffle Love and Chubbys. They are easily my top two. Not only do I love their food, but I love the people behind the counter. Truly inspirational good-hearted people. Waffle Love…I can’t praise them high enough. Missy, the wife of the owner. Just a beautiful human. Sweet. Real. Honest. Spiritual. Loving. Adam, the owner, and his brother, the co-owner…same. They make everyone feel loved and like family. That goes far. When you feel “home” outside your “home” that’s a good feeling. Tom at Chubby’s makes both Greg and I feel the same way. We have been to Chubby’s no less than 30 times. True. I’m one of the most frequent diners there if you go by Yelp’s tracking, but it’s not just the food. It’s the people. Both waffles and burgers start around $6.
And outside of food…words. Vinyl. Signs. Pictures. Prints. My home is filled with inspirational sayings and quotes. I sometimes have to reign it in because I want to much more than Greg will allow me to hang. Words and quotes emote feelings which move people. It gives us each pause. It helps us to think, ponder, reminisce, or plan for the future. I’m such a sap, and I love any gift that includes meaningful words or quotes. One of my recent finds on Etsy is WishfulPrinting. I have several sayings in my “basket” just waiting to be purchased and downloaded. Prices start at $5.
Oh wait! She Lifts Gear…of course! This line is extremely personal to me. It’s mine! It’s based on my mom and I, and I happen to feel that we have some super fun, fresh, and must-have items! Check out our flowy muscle tanks, hats (snapbacks and truckers), workout gloves, and hoodies! We are just in our infancy stage, but we are growing quickly! I package everything by hand and include a little personalized note as a thank you. 5% goes back to charity. So it’s a win all the way around. Prices starts at $24.95.
Okay that really IS it! I have spent way longer on this today than I originally intended. J But I wanted to make sure that you had some fun ideas to get started this holiday season. If you have questions on anything email me or comment below! I mean it! I’ll help you in any way I can. I’ll be your personal shopper!
Enjoy your holiday season! Happy shopping! Only 18 more days until Christmas!