Winter Weather Workout Accessories 2014

A few weeks ago I shared with you my Cold Weather Workout Essentials for 2014 which focused on my picks for women’s winter running apparel.

It’s about time already that I follow that up with some Workout Accessories for this fast approaching (if not already arrived) cold weather workout season.

winter weather workout accessories essentials 2014

But here’s the situation…. I have the basic accessories essentials part down pat like a science.

Figuring out the right brand for each item on my list with the features I am looking for to keep me running happy? That’s the experiment of the moment.

It’s not that anything I used last winter was a total failure but there were some aspects of my accessories that bothered me and I want to fix that for this winter.

Let’s call this a team effort, okay?

I will tell you what I am looking for, show you some of the products I have in mind, and you let me know what you think, what you prefer, what you wear etc.

winter workout accessories check list


Last year I wanted to save some money so I purchased a pair of running gloves from Target.

My hands were cold more often than not and the touch-screen techy feature didn’t work most of the time which often led me to removing my gloves in order to use my phone.

I guess sometimes you really do get what you paid for.

Right now I have my eye on a pair of Brooks Adapt Glove II which also have a mitten option for those extra cold moments. Brooks Adapt Gloves II

If I don’t go for the extra warmth of the mitten option, I have my eye on these Sweaty Betty Run gloves which have a zipper pocket and reflective pattern for running in the dark (not that I ever do but it’s a nice feature anyway).

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I mentioned the Lululemon Run With Me Toque last year but I never bought it. I have friends who swear by it though and I like that there is a slot in the back for your ponytail.

Lululemon Run With Me Toque

Neck warmer:

I have a love/hate relationship with my current Lululemon Neckwarmer.

I don’t know; the first winter I used it, I didn’t like it. Last winter I decided that I liked it but I still never loved it.

Lululemon Neckwarmer

I really like having a neckwarmer for those really cold mornings because it not only covers my neck without making me sweat or choking me like a scarf, I like to be able to pull it up over mouth until I adjust to running in the freezing temperatures.

I don’t even see this neckwarmer on the Lululemon website anymore so maybe I am correct that it isn’t the best?

I see that GapFit has a Cowl Neckwarmer for this winter and I considering trying it out.


Sometimes I don’t want to wear a hat and would benefit from just keeping my ears warm.

Brooks Thermal Headband

I have my eye on the Brooks Utopia Thermal Headband but I also really like the look (and price) of Sweat Betty’s Fleece Earwarmer Sweaty Betty Earwarmer


Aside from Pro Compression socks, I always thought that I loved the GapFit socks the best until I tried Balega for the first time and now I am confused!

balega socks

I received the Balega socks as part of my Runner’s World Hat Trick goodies and I really noticed a difference in my feet when I run in them.

I can’t decide if I should order more and if so, which ones exactly. There are so many options!

I am also interested in these Performance Run socks from Sweat Betty based upon the specs and reviews on their website. unnamed (45)

More than anything, I don’t think it’s too much to ask to find a pair of running socks that not only feel good but also keep my toes warm during those frigid morning runs.

Hair Accessories:

For a while I swore by all Lululemon headbands but I think I am loving Sparkly Soul bands more right now.

Sparkly Soul

They stay in place much better on my head and don’t stretch out.

As for ponytail hair ties, how cute are these hair toggles from Sweaty Betty?

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They remind me of the 80’s but also received great reviews so I assume they hold the pony well? I haven’t tried them but I want to!


I realize that undergarments aren’t listed in my accessories essentials checklist because technically they aren’t accessories but can we talk about them anyway?

We already discussed sports bras but today we need to chat about the undies.

I never invested in running specific/sweat-wicking underwear before but lately I am considering the purchase as important. unnamed (50)

Sweaty Betty makes a few different styles like these No Show Pant which, just based upon their specs compared to Lululemon, for the same price, there is more mention of the sweat-wicking material plus cotton in the important spots.

What do you think? What am I forgetting? Please chime in with your ideas, opinions and share links to your favorites!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Sweaty Betty. Although I was compensated, all thoughts and product recommendations expressed in this post are my own.

Runner’s Feet And Kushyfoot


Runners talk a lot of about having “runner’s feet”.

And, according to my father, you can actually have something called “runner’s toe” which he often complained about although we never quite understood but we let him have his “runner’s toe” anyway because it sounded like having such a condition made him feel more like a runner. 

I don’t have the traditional runner’s feet. I still have all of my toe nails, none of them are black, no blisters to speak of and really, just looking at my feet would never lead you to believe that I run an average of forty miles a week.

I actually ran close to fifty miles last week and I don’t know how that happened but it’s a little bit cool to think I am capable of such a thing.

I am not sure if non-runner feet are part of my genetics (inherited perhaps from my mother’s side since my father has a runner’s toe) or if it is because I am insane when it comes to my shoes, socks and proper foot care.


We have spoken before about finding the right running shoes for your feet and when to replace your running shoes.

While pedicures are often viewed as a want rather than a need, I count pedicures as a critical component in my good hygiene routine.

And not just for the pretty polish selection.

nail polish

Regular pedicures, as in once a month or even more during the summer, help to keep my toenails short, cuticles managed and feet scrubbed just enough to remove the dead skin yet still keep some calluses for protection.

Money-saving pedicure tip: Most nail salons offer special pricing for pedicures and even mani/pedi deals certain days of the week. Do your research on the salons in your area and plan your visits accordingly.

We need the skin on the bottoms of our feet to be smooth but not too smooth. We need that certain level of toughness as a barrier between us and the ground.

As Janae recently discovered, when the bottoms of our feet are too soft and completely lacking in the callous department, running and even walking around can be really painful.

Have you ever done the whole cover your feet in Vaseline and socks overnight? I would never do it again. Way too softening.

Recently I was contacted to review Kushyfoot athletic socks and a few of their other foot goodies.


ABOUT KUSHYFOOT: Kushyfoot legwear products are made by Doris International, one of North America’s finest hosiery manufacturers and suppliers of prestigious private label programs for retailer. Available in over 10,000 doors around the nation and online, and in more than 50 styles, they deliver unheard-of comfort and high-end quality at affordable price points ranging from $3.99 to $9.99 retail.

Although I get crazy about leaving the house in a possible wrong sock/shoe combination for a run, I took one for the team in order to review the socks for you today.

Guess what?! I really like the Kushyfoot athletic socks.

Super soft and comfortable, high enough in the back to avoid a blister situation, moisture-wicking because my feet weren’t sweaty and the socks were dry when I took them off. They even stay put while running without bunching and getting annoying.


I know for sure that I like these athletic socks because I completely forgot that I was running while wearing something different.

The hot pink foot covers were really comfortable too.

kushyfoot foot covers

I actually wore them over the weekend with sneakers because I got excited that they matched my Saucony Kinvara even though I usually wear peds like this with ballet flats or loafers back in the day.


You can’t see the hot pink peds but that’s the point.

You should know that I broke the #flatsfriday rule last week when I wore wedges the day before a long run.

kate spade wedges

I did have my Flats To Go with me just in case my feet hurt.

flats to go

It’s always good to have such a clever item (foldable/thin ballet flats) with you for emergency situations.


I was all sorts of excited to see that my package of socks to review included Yoga socks.

yoga socks

Unfortunately the one size fits all did not apply to my toes because my baby toe couldn’t peek out of the sock at all, not to mention, getting your toes into socks that are like gloves isn’t easy as you can see above.

The toes are not as smart as fingers when it comes to naturally finding where they belong.

It’s a shame these yoga socks didn’t work for me since I was just contemplating signing up for some Pure Barre classes at the new location that recently opened near my house.

I want to add something different to my cross training routine this summer, either Pure Barre or Spinning.

I need to choose one, which should I pick?

Kushyfoot sent me the above-mentioned socks in exchange for my review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are mine.


Do you have “runner’s feet”?

How often do you treat yourself for a pedicure?

Have you tried Pure Barre?

Favorite athletic socks?




Thinking Out Loud Link-Up With Running With Spoons!


Happy Thursday! I am super excited this morning because Amanda decided to host a link up today to her Thursday “Thinking Out Loud” posts.


I am always thinking something so this gives me the perfect opportunity to let you in on my thoughts of the moment. I know you are excited.

Before we get started, thank you to everyone who entered the #Kindawesome giveaway!

The winner is Mary  – Congratulations and I will be emailing you shortly!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Now…without further ado, let’s take a look at what I am thinking:

1. In honor of our host,  it is only fitting that I start today’s post showing you my collection of spoons.

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Upon reviewing my stash of yogurt store plastic spoons the other day, I became curious as to where and when I got this purple spoon and then wondered why yogurt stores only seem to offer “girl” spoons.

As a kid, I always viewed my box of crayons in terms of “boy” colors and “girl” colors – you know, the reds, pinks and purples were the girl crayons and the blues, greens, yellows and ugly browns were the boy crayons.

If you are wondering why I didn’t list orange, I guess I just never formed an opinion about the orange crayon. Didn’t care to color with it but used it if I was drawing a rainbow and needed to complete the ROY G BIV.

Please tell me you recall ROY G BIV?

2. Maybe my labeling of colors boy and girl is the reason I can’t bring myself to try out blue or green shades of nail polish.

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I can’t help but go with some shade of light pink to avoid seeing the chippage. Is chippage a word? I think it is, spellcheck doesn’t.

But then again, spellcheck is always putting a red line under DESSERT which always make me think that the person behind this whole spellcheck system is on some fad diet where dessert is off-limits and taking it out on the rest of us.

3. Dessert. Ah yes. Always on my mind.

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My favorite partner in food crime and I ventured out in the snow and ice the other evening  to enjoy my favorite Linda’s Fudge Cake. Am I the only one who orders the chocolate cakes at The Cheesecake Factory instead of cheesecake?

I just never learned to love cheesecake. Goes back to when I was a kid – the words cheese and cake should never have formed a compound word. Cup and cake, yes…cheese and cake, just no.

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Although, to be fair, I have allowed my spoon to taste the Hershey’s Chocolate Bar Cheesecake which is slowly changing my opinion.

4. I need to talk spoons again. Seems to be a theme in this post, yes? I just can’t help but mention that I only use a spoon to eat my dessert, even if it is cake. No forks allowed for dessert. Oh and the smaller the spoon, the better. Actually, I like to eat all of my meals using small utensils.

5. I am beginning to think that part of being a child means thinking your parents aren’t cool.

Last night the little boy and I attended some sort of Book Bonanza at our local Barnes and Noble to benefit his school.

As we walked in, he firmly whispered to me, and I quote:

“I see people I know so walk away from me. Go. Go the other way.”

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Really? And here I thought I was cool. There goes my high self-esteem again.

6.  I can’t seem to give up reading an actual newspaper.

Call me old-fashioned, but I just can’t bring myself to cancel my paper delivery.

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I have been on the fence about canceling for a while now and every time I think I am ready to make the call, I get a bunch of coupon inserts like these that came yesterday. How can I pass up the newspaper perks of BOGO for frozen yogurt?

7. Another thing I can’t pass up right now are fun knee socks.


They keep me all warm and cozy and fit nice inside my boots. In fact, they are the only positive to come out of the recent frigid and snowy weather.

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Is it wrong that I plan to get myself some more knee socks from Little Miss Matched?



They have so many fun patterns like these Big Apple socks. I may have to check them out.

And you need to check out the rest of the Thinking Out Loud posts! Thanks Amanda for the link-up!



What color is on your nails?

Cheesecake or chocolate cake?

Do you take home the yogurt store spoons?










Panera Bread Hot Chocolate And Favorite Food Partners


Please forgive me if I go back on my word this weekend.


So I always say that I prefer to chew my calories rather than drink them but I need to make an exception. Have you seen the new Panera Bread hot chocolate topped with CHOCOLATE CHIP MARSHMALLOWS?

I decided that the new Panera Bread hot chocolate is a must-try and really, the marshmallows count as chewing.

You kind of wish you were hanging with me now this weekend, don’t you. I know where it’s at. Well, at least where the good tasting stuff is at.

The other morning while I was running my mind wandered to the topic of my favorite food partners.

You know, those people in your life you enjoy spending time with and more importantly, good food with.

Let’s start with my dad. Of all the things we have enjoyed, including our frozen stash of candy bars in the freezer (everyone should have a frozen stash), we still look back fondly on the day when we were out shoveling snow and decided we deserved a batch of warm chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven.

Only the cookies never made it into cookie form. I baked them in a square pan with the intention of blondies. Only the blondies didn’t happen either. We sat down with the pan, two forks and that was that.


While this is not the image from that memorable day, it is the  Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie  from the blog, Averie Cooks. I have been meaning to try this recipe. It would certainly work well on a snow day. Or any day.

Come to think of it, my friend Heather and I always skipped plates and normal servings as well.

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We took this picture a few months ago at a party. 25 years later and we still think we are kids.

While she may have moved to Florida when we were 15 (which broke my heart at the time), during our regular visits- we had one agenda.


Entenmann’s Marshmallow Iced Devil’s Food Cake for her and Publix chocolate chip cookies for me.

I don’t have a picture of the Publix cookies BECAUSE NEW YORK DOES NOT HAVE A PUBLIX SUPERMARKET.

People think New York has it all but we don’t have a Publix nor do we have half of the yummy places described on other blogs.

Heather would bring the Publix cookies up from Florida and I would bring her the Entenmann’s cake when I went down to visit.

She happily sat with her cake, eating it row by row and I had my package of cookies. The stuff memories are made of I tell you.

If you think I am all about dessert, you are right. Sort of.

My friend Robyn and I have a specific agenda and unspoken agreement that dinner plans = sushi. We are currently on a mission to hit every sushi spot in New York.

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She even allows me to snap pictures before we dig in.

But of course our time together never ends without dessert.


One time we couldn’t decide on which cupcake to get at Crumbs Bake Shop so we tried a whole bunch.

Ah Crumbs Bake Shop. Did you know I have gone to Crumbs on more than one occasion to only encounter empty display cases where cupcakes should be? Yeah, they tend to run out.

Imagine getting excited for a cupcake, opening the door to Crumbs only to see empty cases?

Traumatizing, I know.

And sometimes, they only run out of MY CUPCAKE. My cupcake would be the chocolate fudge brownie. Thank goodness for my selfless neighbor, Meaghan. She is quite the good food friend.


She has gone above and beyond more times than I care to admit to make sure I get the Crumbs cupcake of my desires.

She happily drives me across Long Island to locate the Crumbs Bake Shop that is fully stocked with “the right” cupcakes. She will tell you she does it because she understands I take dessert seriously and that otherwise I will remain hungry, cranky and dissatisfied.

And then, well, there is my partner in good food crime who routinely dines with me wherever I want to go.

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And not only that, we both appreciate a fabulous meal and decadent dessert and when we share, I might even enjoy it. Did I just say that?

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Sort of like those hidden Mickey Mouse images that appear all over Disney, you can find my partner in good food crime hidden throughout the blog. If you look closely enough, you will spot the shirt, the hands, the spoon…I like to keep you all on your toes.

Speaking of toes, mine have been freezing this week while I am running. We all worry about the right gloves, scarves, hats and apparel – what about winter running socks?

I think along with the Panera Bread Hot Chocolate, I will be seeking out therma-fit socks if they exist. Have a great weekend!


Who are your favorite food partners? What do you eat together?

Have you tried the Panera Bread Hot Chocolate yet?

Do you wear different socks in the winter when you run?

Favorite Crumbs cupcake?



Saturday Long Run – I’ll Take The Physical Challenge

I love running. We know this, yes? I love to just get out there and do my thing, create my pace, challenge myself, relax, think, zone out, listen to music, listen to my thoughts and occasionally train and run a race.

Lately I notice a rise in the number of “specialty races” such as color runs, glow runs, electric runs, tough mudders and obstacle courses.

I have never really felt an itch to participate in any of these races even though many friends have asked me to join along.

However, this morning’s long run made me think that I was stuck in some obstacle course of my very own. Sort of like I failed to answer a trivia question correctly on Double Dare and was forced to take the PHYSICAL CHALLENGE.


So what exactly went wrong for me this morning? Where should I begin.

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Let’s start with this sign. This sign and yellow tape greeting me at the start of my run. Without any warning from my community office, it seems various sections of the path I run inside of my development are under construction.

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Some parts of my path were clear and then suddenly, I could go no further and would have to create detours to avoid not only roped off areas but construction vehicles and workmen wheeling wheel barrels straight at me.

Now, creating a new path was not my only issue today.

You see, I stayed out a bit late last night in the city watching the Islanders game over dinner and drinks.

No photos because some moments are simply meant to be enjoyed. That and because my phone battery was dying and my car charger stopped working.

Speaking of my phone, I never plugged it in last night. I didn’t want to wait long for it to charge this morning so I set out for my run with only 50% battery.

Because of this, I forced myself to listen to whatever songs came on my ipod rather than waste battery shuffling from song to song. Not easy for me to do.

Did I mention yet that my favorite athletic socks were all in the wash? Or that my heels are starting to bother me in the new sneakers?

And, for the highlight of my long run physical challenge, since we are such close friends and all, you should know I was also greeted this morning with a surprise visit from my most unwelcome monthly visitor.

So how was my run you wonder?

It really wasn’t bad at all. It was annoying to figure out a different route but, considering I was dehydrated and not operating at 100% percent, I felt pretty good and kept a decent pace. I told myself to just run and let the pace come naturally. I was shocked to actually be running under 9:00/min miles for a majority of my run.


I broke a couple of commandments this morning but hey, I never claimed to be perfect.

Oh wait, before I forget, look what was waiting on my doorstep:

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The new Double Chocolate Chunk Quest Bars! Yes, they truly are the most delicious Quest bar yet.

I don’t often eat protein bars but these are my exception.

Time for me to put the focus on the birthday boy. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!







What’s For Breakfast? Don’t ask me.

I have quite the dilemma this morning. I don’t know what to have for breakfast. Weird, right? Breakfast is usually my creature of habit meal and I don’t deviate all that often, especially on a random Thursday morning, but I am just not in the mood for any of my usual oatmeal bowls, nor do I want raisin bread or any kind of pancake. Nothing appealing to me today.

This is not good.

You what is good though? Cleaning out your closets and drawers and getting to buy some new stuff to replace the old stuff.

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I started with new socks to fill my newly empty sock drawer. I happen to love Gap socks and lucky for me, a bunch were on sale. I didn’t really care what colors I found but I think I might be excited to sport the orange and blue.

Hockey season is just around the corner, yes?

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Of all the running socks I have tested out, I still favor the Gap Performance Athletic Ankle Socks. Now, I normally only buy the white but the salesperson swore to me that the black pair is exactly the same just a different color.

I informed him that I am an insane runner and take my foot comfort very seriously and he didn’t look nervous so I bought them. I will test them out this morning and trust me, if my toes can’t wiggle properly, I will be back at the Gap when they open.

Before going to the Gap yesterday, I of course needed a stop at Trader Joe’s.

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The Fearless Flyer is out once again.

It’s funny – I know the store so well that without even looking at the flyer, I can usually pick out what is new on the shelves before flipping through and reading it.

I spotted a new BBQ sauce but didn’t buy it.

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What I did not see, because I never look at the sushi, is the new veggie sushi roll made with quinoa. Now this I may have to go back to see. Like today.

Their sushi never really receives great reviews and always looks so loaded with rice that I just never thought to try it. But, for $3.49 for 8 pieces of sushi made with quinoa? Maybe I will give it a shot.

I have been on a bit of a sushi hiatus these last few weeks, does quinoa sushi count as sushi? Hmm.

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I did buy this bottle of balsamic vinegar and drizzled it on just about everything I ate yesterday including roasted butternut squash, carrots, mini pearl tomatoes, kale chips and these potatoes.

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I had planned on making a baked potato. I always microwave the potato first for a few minutes just to soften it before putting it in the oven (cuts down the cooking time).

At the last second, I decided I wanted to slice it up and roasted it as wedges. I drizzled the balsamic vinegar on a whim and threw them into the oven for 30 minutes. I will definitely be making these again.

I must go now and figure out what the heck I will be eating for breakfast. This is unchartered territory people. I not only need to determine what I am in the mood for, but determine if it can keep me full, satisfied and fuel my morning workout.

I haven’t decided if I am running or hitting the elliptical machine. I should probably cross train but it is nice outside.

And I am a sucker for sunshine.

Have a great day!



Do you eat the same breakfast everyday?

Do you buy Trader Joe’s sushi?

Have you tried this new roll made with quinoa?

Where do you buy your socks?







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