Sports Chalet Gift Card Giveaway: Meet The New SC Community & Expert Ambassadors

Disclaimer: While fitness gear may be given to me to review in the future I have received no compensation from Sport Chalet.

About a month or so ago I received an email from Sports Chalet saying that they named me as one of their Expert Ambassadors. WHAT?!  Me? Expert?  In running?

Not going to lie, when I first read this I had to giggle, especially since I do my best to stay away from the idea of being considered an expert on any topic.  Then again, even though I was a bit of a late bloomer when it came to running I still I have a few miles and experiences under my belt. And, while I’m not a super speedy runner or someone that will taut a long list of races or PRs, I have my share of crazy experiences and made mistakes…. and have lived to tell about them.  I’m guessing that’s why Sports Chalet named me an expert.  Because I’m willing to share it all.

Not sure who Sport Chalet is? What started as a small ski shop in 1959 they now have 50 stores in 4 states. Talk about dreaming big and going for it!  Want to learn more about their history?  You can find more here.  

Sport Chalet Expert AmbassadorCheck out my bio on the Sport Chalet site

I am not the only Expert Ambassador for Sport Chalet.  With the launch of a brand new Sports Chalet site they’ve also introduced communities.  From running, fitness, cycling, scuba, and outdoors they’ve named ambassadors from all activities.  If you check out their Explore Your Community page and take a peek at their Experts you may see a few more familiar faces.

Sport Chalet Expert Ambassador

Once you click into your specific community you will find more info on your sport.  While the communities are in the beginning stages, look for activity to ramp up with videos and guides in the coming months.  That’s where I come in.  Myself, along with the other Sports Chalet Expert Ambassadors, will be sharing reviews and tips when it comes to gear, training, etc.

Sport Chalet Expert Ambassador

But the community doesn’t end once you leave the site.  We’re looking to build these communities all over social media and we’d love for you to join in.

Is Pinterest your thing?  You’ll find Sports Chalet pinning great stuff on their boards.  Once again, you’ll see there are boards for most sports.  Obviously I’ll be collaborating with them and fellow Sports Chalet Expert Running Ambassadors on the #RunAddiction board.

Sport Chalet Expert Ambassador

For those that are into Instagram and Twitter join the Sports Chalet community by tagging your photos with these hashtags:


Sport Chalet Expert Ambassador

All of this is pretty rad, but what makes it even cooler?  There’s a chance for you to win stuff ! Like, legit travel experiences and adventures.  Read: Visiting ASICS headquarters to get outfitted with gear, attending a training camp coached by Deena Kastor, followed up by VIP race experience in NYC.  Or a 10 day trek in New Zealand. Or an Ultimate CrossFit experience…and more.  Like I said, legit. Check out Sport Chalet’s  Adventures of A Lifetime Sweepstakes page for all of the details and to enter.

Sport Chalet Expert Ambassador

To celebrate the launch of their brand new site and communities I’m hosting a giveaway too!  Enter for your chance to win one of two gift cards up for grabs.

Grand prize wins a $100 Sport Chalet gift card and runner up will receive a $50 Sport Chalet gift card.

Enter below and don’t forget to share with your friends and family by tweeting about this giveaway simply by clicking this link.

Note: If you’re a 1st time commenter on my site your comment will not show up until it is approved by me.  No worries, it’s still counts!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway runs from Wednesday, August 27, 2014 until 12:00 PST on Saturday, September 13, 2014.  Winners will be contacted by Wednesday September 17, 2014.

Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)

Switching It Up

Lately I’ve decided to switch it up…

For years I’ve debated coloring my hair.  I kid you not. I’m not talking just highlights or a typical brown color.  I wanted COLOR.  Now that I’m currently in a work situation that doesn’t frown on that sort of thing I started thinking about it more and more.  A couple months ago I happened across Hair or Dye on Instagram (Have I ever told you how much I love social media?!) and knew I just had to go see Danielle.  So I made an appointment and took the plunge.

While I’ve colored my hair it’s been years and I’ve only had it done a handful of times.  When I walked out I was in love with the colors.

Pravana Ombre Hair Color

Sadly, my hair wasn’t. Within days most of the color had washed out.  Danielle gave me reassurance that the same thing happened to her when she first started coloring her hair.  The following week I headed back to see her to have it redone.  This time around it was much brighter.  I LOVED it.  Unfortunately my hair had other plans once again.  While it lasted a bit longer most of the teal washed out within a week.

Pravana Ombre Hair Color

As of now I’m not real sure what my plans are for my hair…maybe I will keep trying to color….maybe not.

After 3+ years of having the same glasses I finally got something new.  I’ve been wanting a cat-eye or browline frame for what seems like forever but haven’t had insurance to upgrade.  Not to mention, once I did I couldn’t seem to find exactly what I was looking for until recently.  The new prescription is going to take some getting used to but I really dig the way they look.

Vinyl Factory Browline Glasses Gore

I recently shared how much I love running outside.  I’m totally eating my words right now.  Let it go on record that I still love and prefer running outside.  However, just 2 weeks ago I took to the treadmill and had one of my best runs in a LONG time.   I’ve been battling some foot issues yet things just seemed to click on the treadmill for some reason.  Needless to say since then most of my runs have been on the treadmill.  Just goes to show me that I need to change things up and can’t let myself get into a rut.

Speaking of my foot issues, as I also wrote, I’ve been working at addressing my problems and finally picked up my custom orthotics last week.  Talk about a change.  Whoa!  They felt so uncomfortable.  But I continued on, following the directions of my doctor, wearing them a few hours here and there.  This past weekend I thought I’d try them out on a short run and was pleasantly surprised how good they felt! Next up: New shoes.

Say what?!  Once again, for those that know me I am a Mizuno Maniac. I was fit with my first Wave Riders in 2007 and the rest is history.  However, my Wave Riders just haven’t been doing it for me in the past 2 years.  I’ve tried Wave Creations and even Wave Inspires before heading back to the Wave Riders, but something just hasn’t been right.  I figured with the new orthotics this was as good of a time as any to try something new so this past weekend I stopped at the Runner’s Den for a fitting.

After trying on 10+ pairs it was determined that the Brooks Ghost 7 was my shoe of choice.  While I was at it I figured I’d get fit for a trail shoe as well. After trying on almost every trail shoe they offered I ended up in the Brooks Adrenaline ASR.  Looks like I may be a Brooks girl!  I’m anxious to get both pairs broken in and you can be sure I’ll keep you posted not only on the progress of my foot issues but how I adjust to Brooks shoes.

Brooks Running Shoes Ghost Adrenaline

Lastly, DH and I have been mixing it up when it comes to our weekend adventures.  In the past most weekends you would find me on the trails hiking or running.  This was often because DH was working weekends. Now that DH has weekends off (hooray!)  that means we get to adventure together.  However, trail running and hiking aren’t really DH’s thing, especially with his fibromyalgia. But that doesn’t mean he’s not adventurous.

Green Jeep Wrangler Adventure

Enter our new Jeep and inquisitive, adventurous spirits, and we’ve been taking to the trails in a different way…off-roading in the back country.  Ultimately our goal is to have a good time but we’ve also been in search of old abandoned mines and other cool finds.  After we failed to find the Belmont Mine last weekend we had our first successful mine find this past Sunday when we found Black Rock Mine.

Black Rock Mine Arizona Adventure

Our friend and fellow #Omniten, Wilderness Dave, has been on somewhat of the same path when it comes to weekend back road adventures so we hope to meet up in the future.  Also, since DH witnessed the motorcycle accident we have been grateful to find wonderful friends in the family of the girl who was injured. They’re just as adventurous as us!  They’re also into off-roading in their Jeep in search of mines and caverns.  How cool and what a coincidence, right?  If all goes as planned we’ll have many adventures in the future and I hope to share some of these with you! As always, you can find more photos on our Flickr account.

Hassayampa Canyon Arizona Adventure

There you have it!  Always changing, trying something new. Never a dull moment with us!

Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)

Delicious Vegan Sorbet In Phoenix- Sweet Republic

My first ever ‘real’ job was in a local ice cream parlor. It was then that my love for ice cream was born. Fast forward 10 years and you could find me making my way over to ice cream parlor next to my workplace on an almost daily basis.  (Thankfully I was running daily to burn it off!)  While there are a ton of vegan options thankfully since going veg I’ve backed off of my ice cream habits.  Whew!  From soft serve to scooped, I love all sorts of ice cream. Alas, I still love ice cream and am always in search of sweets.

I had heard of Sweet Republic since moving to Phoenix 2 years ago.  However, since they are in the east valley I never find myself in their neck of the woods (er, desert) when it was time for dessert. However, we just so happened to be near recently so we made the stop.

Sweet Republic

Sweet Republic has been featured in Bon Appetit Magazine, Time Magazine, and even Food Network.  To give you a better idea of why so many consider them to be special here’s some info from their site:
All Natural, Handcrafted Ice Cream - Our artisan ice cream is made using one simple philosophy: start with the purest ingredients and you get the most flavorful ice cream experience. Discover the difference of fresh local ingredients and distinctive recipes made from scratch by real people passionate about sharing the pleasure of extraordinary ice cream.

Located in a strip mall with a variety of other storefronts, we entered the parlor to find it splashed with teal and orange colored ascents.  With a shelf full of of  games and several families enjoying their ice cream you could tell this is a local family favorite.  When I walked in to find an entire freezer section dedicated to dairy-free sorbets I was thrilled.  When I found they had dairy-free chocolate sorbet I was ecstatic!  I went for a scoop of coconut sorbet and a scoop of chocolate sorbet. Note: per the worker, the cones/waffle bowls aren’t vegan. DH went big with the Toffee Banofi sundae.

Sweet Republic

We chilled out, enjoying the oldies music, while enjoying our ice cream.

#FactsOnly: both of my flavors were so good I can’t tell you which one was better.  The coconut didn’t taste lame and artificial. It even had actual slivers of coconut.  And chocolate, well, you can’t go wrong with chocolate.  Not to mention, it was so very creamy.

Sweet Republic

Did DH like his?  Since our visit he has requested we go back several times….so I’ll let you decide.

Sweet Republic

If you ever find yourself near one of their 2 locations I’d recommend stopping by.  And if you’re in the Phoenix area you can find their ice creams/sorbets at Whole Foods. I’ve not only seen the prepackaged ice cream in the freezer section but also freshly scooped in the bakery/dessert section too!

Sweet Republic
9160 E. Shea Blvd
Scottsdale, AZ
Phone 480.248.6979

6054 N 16th Street
Phoenix, AZ

Sun-Thurs 12-10
Fri-Sat Sun 10-1

Credit cards accepted

Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)

Looking for more vegan food in Phoenix and beyond? Check out my Vegan Travel, Reviews, & Recipes.

Where I Grew Up

When my grandma passed away last year she made my mom promise one thing….that she would retire within the year. A few months ago my mom kept her promise and retired.  My dad followed suit.  Soon their house was up for sale.

After many ups and downs, that typically go along with selling a house, it finally sold just a few weeks ago.  As I type my parents are doing what we did just a few years ago….selling /donating more than half of their belongings and uprooting their lives. However, instead of moving to Arizona they are heading to Florida to enjoy their long awaited and well-deserved retirement.

House Memories

As this chapter comes to an end it’s a little bittersweet.  I am beyond thrilled and excited for my parents.  But over the past few days I’ve found myself caught up in the memories of all the experiences we had together over the years.

This house was where….

…I was brought home after I was born.

House Memories

…I took my first steps and was potty trained.

House Memories

…we traded homegrown veggies over the fence with our neighbors who became lifelong friends.

…all of my siblings learned how to ride our bikes without training wheels.

House Memories

…I spent every waking moment of the summer outside until my mom rang the dinner bell…yes we had an actual bell.

…hours of family time were spent making home improvements.

House Memories

…my siblings created ‘music videos’ to Four Seasons, Gloria Estefan, Whitney Houston, and more.

…New Years Eve celebrations consisted of eating stuffed mushrooms, making our own hats out of newspaper, and banging pots and pans on the porch as the ball dropped.

House Memories

…my sister and I shared a double bed for the first 10 years of our lives and giggled ourselves to sleep most nights.

…there was never a dull moment…and we were always up to something.

House Memories

…ghosts haunt…or so we’ve been told by the former owners.

…my sister and I practiced our dance routines. We tapped for hours, making divots in the kitchen floor, and performed many perfected routines for our parents.

House Memories

…I learned how to make my favorite Christmas cookies from the best baker in the world…my grandma. And the tradition continued into adulthood.

House Memories

House Memories Cookies

…my sister taught us we could travel to Neverland through our own hidden passage….AKA a hidden panel to a storage area.

…probably the only ‘stairway to nowhere’ exists.

House Memories

…we wrote our names throughout the years on the wall in the ‘stairway to nowhere.’

House Memories Names

…we’d sit on the porch waving at cars that passed or watch some of the best storms role in.

…we spent many summers days on our well-worn down swing set.

House Memories

…countless birthdays were celebrated surrounding our kitchen table.

House Memories

…my sister chopped my off bangs, not once, but twice.

…we knew that St. Nick would visit December 6th every year, filling out stockings and placing them on the couch, where we would find them upon waking up.

House Memories

…we all sat down as a family and ate a homemade dinner most every night of the week.

House Memories


…we were treated to ‘concerts’ by my brother and his friends as they performed songs from Pearl Jam and more…which subsequently lead to visits from the cops due to ‘disturbing the peace’ . In my eyes they were rock stars.

…we rescued Yoda and Toto off the the street and welcomed them into our family.

House Memories

…hours were spent in the play room that was transformed by mom using the random room connected to the bathroom.

House Memories Play Room

…most locals would identify our family as the ones living in the “Ohio State House.”

House Memories

…I spent an entire month house-bound, following 30 days in the hospital, as I recovered from a broken femur.

House Memories Broken Femur

…my dad would spend hours on the lawn…including the neighbor’s when they wouldn’t. All for the sake of having pride in our block.

House Memories

…I got ready for every school dance.

House Memories

…I’d take a bath over a shower any day because of our original vintage cast iron clawfoot tub in the upstairs bathroom.

…we spent every Christmas around a perfectly decorated tree, savoring the moment as we each took turns opening up presents, making it an all morning affair.

Christmas Tree

…I met DH when he came to my end of the summer party.

House Memories

…we each celebrated our high school graduations…including DH.

House Memories Graduation

House Memories Graduation

…good conversation, games, and cups of coffee around the kitchen table could always be found.

House Memories

…I pondered many of my hopes and dreams.

House Memories

…we watched each other grow as a family into who we are today.

House Memories

…no matter where we lived we all still called it home.

A house is just a house, but it was our home.  1313 Campbell, we walked through your doors countless times and you provided the backdrop to these memories and so many more.  It is time for yet another new chapter but you will always hold a very special place in our hearts.  Thank you.

House Memories

 Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)