Leg Toning Shoe or Bone Breaking Shoe? You Decide

On July 30, 2010 the USA Today newspaper published an article called A revolutionary sneaker, or overhyped gimmick? Basically the article was questioning on whether this new trend of toning sneakers to hit the market (Sketchers, MBT, Ryn) is all that good for us.  Doctors were quoted as saying that the sneakers can mess up our gait, which according to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is described as a manner of walking.

Now I will say that yes, those toning sneakers like the ones made by Sketchers or Ryn DO change the way you walk.  But isn’t that the point?  I mean, I can remember when I was in elementary school gym class and our gym teacher was constantly yelling at us to walk “heel, ball, toe”.  When I wear my Sketchers Shape-Ups or my RYN shoes (yes I have both and I have to tell you, RYN’s are better IMO), I feel like I stand up straighter and I am able to finally walk heel, ball, toe every time I take a step.  Not only do I walk better,  but my back and knees feel better too.

Alison Drury of Louisiana is quoted in the USA Today article as saying that she is “…afraid to ever put those shoes on again”.  Those shoes being the Sketchers Shape-ups.  She claims that her first time walking a mile in them she rolled her ankle and it broke.  I have a problem with her blaming her broken ankle on the shoes.  First of all, Sketchers TELLS their customers to wear the shoes around the house for a little bit before going out to walk in them so you get use to the rocking motion of the shoes.  Second of all, people roll their ankles all the time who don’t wear Sketchers Shape-ups or any other “toning” shoe.  Shoot my husband always does and he doesn’t have a pair.  It just happens.

So what do I think of the shoes?  Being that I have two pairs from two different companies, I am a huge fan of them.  Do I think they will make my ass smaller just by wearing them?  Of course not.  But do I believe they will help (notice I said help) tone muscles?  Of course!  But like everything else, there is no miracle shoe or miracle pill or miracle drink that will make you lose weight…everything in moderation and in combination with a work-out plan will.  And yes, I believe that wearing shoes that help you to walk properly and stand up straighter will help in toning those muscles that we all so desire to have toned.

Please remember that this is just my opinion and you could possibly have a differing opinion, but I do prefer the RYN shoes over the Sketchers.  However, I suggest trying them on for yourself to see how you like them.  But if you have issues with balance, make sure you are comfortable walking in the shoes.  I would hate to see another person fall and blame it on the shoes rather than their own inexperience with a shoe they are not familiar with.

Allergen Free Meats???

You read that right!  There is a company out there that can guarantee pretty much anyone can eat their products!  Who is that company?  It’s John Morrell!  As of May, John Morrell is free of milk, egg, fish, nuts, soy, and wheat!  I was very excited to find this out since my daughter has an egg allergy (she used to have an egg and dairy, but thankfully outgrew the dairy allergy) and it’s nice to know that I can trust that John Morrell’s products are free of the allergens that I need it to be free of.

John Morrell was very kind to give me the opportunity to try out one of their yummy products.  I chose the smoked sausage.  Not only was it very yummy, but the kids loved it too.  Which to me, says a lot!  They are very picky eaters and when they can give something two thumbs up, that means it’s really good!  After checking around their website a bit, I ran across their recipe section.  My husband is a HUGE sushi fan.  Me, not so much.  But I found this recipe on their site for Down & Dirty Cowboy Sushi that sounds really good.  I think I will make it for him one of these nights!! Head on over to the John Morrell Facebook page and “Like” their page and print off a coupon for $1.00 off their new worry-free meats!!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of John Morrell and received a free coupon for John Morrell products to facilitate my candid review.  Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

America’s Secret Ingredient Contest!!!

The day’s of running to the neighbors house to borrow a cup of sugar or an egg are over!

Did you know that you can substitute Tree Top applesauce in place of eggs in a recipe?  Now of course it would have to make sense in the recipe.  I mean you wouldn’t go and put applesauce in a meat loaf, but let’s say you were making pancakes.  You go to add the eggs when you suddenly realize you’re out.  Don’t worry!  Get out your applesauce and 1/4 cup measuring cup and just substitute the applesauce in the eggs place.  You’re pancakes will be to die for.  My kids especially like them if I add a dash of cinnamon too!Other substitutions you can use that will tremendously cut the fat and calories are:

    • apple juice instead of white sugar

 

  • applesauce instead of butter

 

 

One of my personal favorites is to marinate pork chops in Tree Top apple juice.  You get all the wonderful flavor without all the sodium that bottled marinades give you.  Even my kids ate the pork chops and if you know my daughter, she does not eat ANYTHING unless it is the shape of a nugget.Do you have a secret ingredient that you add to a recipe?  If so, enter the America’s Secret Ingredient Contest!  The contest is going on now and runs until July 26th, so that gives you plenty of time to enter!  Read all the contest rules here.  One grand prize winner in EACH category will win a trip for 2 to New York City to attend the Food Network New York City Wine and Food Festival!

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Tree Top and received products necessary to facilitate my candid review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.” 

Summer Safety Tips

Now that schools out for summer (yes that song is now stuck in my head), my kids want to do nothing but play outside.  Whether it’s running around in the backyard on our play structure or at the pool, they literally don’t stop until they are about ready to collapse.  Which makes for great bedtimes!!

However, I can’t help but worry about them when they are outside playing or swimming.  Sure I’m watching them, but the “what if’s” are always in my mind.  Thanks to Underwriters Laboratories, a leading product safety testing company, they have compiled a list of safety tips.  See the tips below about how you can help keep your children safe while playing in the backyard or swimming in the pool.  Stay safe and cool this summer!

Backyard Play-Set Safety Tips

 

Before installing the Play-Set
    • Make sure your backyard is large enough to cover the play-set you wish to install.

 

  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s directions when setting up the play equipment.  Pay close attention that your child’s weight and age fall within the recommendations.

 

 

  • Install protective surfacing like rubber tiles, mulch…at least 6 feet in all directions.

 

 

Before heading out to play

    • Carefully inspect the playground equipment, paying attention that it is anchored into the ground, S-hooks are closed and bolts are not sticking out.

 

  • Check for spaces that could trap children.  These spaces should measure less than 3.5inches or more than 9 inches.

 

 

  • Always supervise children on play set equipment.

 

 

  • Never attach ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines, pet leashes or cords to play equipment.

 

 

  • Watch for potential trip hazards.

 

 

  • Do a sandbox check.  Check for debris or sharp objects.  Lids are always the best option so it does not become a litter box to neighborhood cats.

 

 

 

Pool Safety

 

Pool Safety at Home 
    • Install a fence.  It should be at least four feet high and a self closing, self latching gate that has a locking mechanism that is out of a child’s reach.

 

  • Cut overhanging tree limbs and remove chairs or ladders from the pool area.  Kids can use these to climb over the fence.

 

 

  • Keep grates and drain covers in good repair.

 

 

  • Make sure you know infant and child CPR if you own a pool.

 

 

Safety Smart while Swimming

    • Use the 10/20 rule.  The 10/20 rule stats that the supervising adult is able to scan the pool every 10 seconds and reach the water within 20 seconds.

 

  • Always have a rescue device nearby.

 

 

  • Flotation devices, toys and inflatable swimming aids are not safety devices.  They can puncture easily.

 

 

  • Always drain small kiddie pools with children are done playing.  Infants can drown in just a few inches of water.

 

 

  • Have a phone nearby with all emergency numbers handy.

 

 

  • Remove all toys when you leave the pool.  Toys attract children to an unattended pool.

 

 

Be safe this summer and make sure your children are aware of these safety rules as well.  Don’t let your family become a summer statistic.  Be sure to check out this Wild about Safety video.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Underwriters Laboratories. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Do You Need to Update Your GPS???

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of NAVTEQ. All opinions are 100% mine.


It’s that time of year again…Summer Vacation!!!  Whether you are driving your kids from play date to play date or going on a family vacation, chances are great that you will need some sort of directions to get there.  One of the best presents my husband ever bought me was a Garmin GPS for my car.  I use that thing all the time and I know I will be using it a lot this summer taking my son to all his friends houses that I have never been to before (that kid seriously has a better social life than I do)!


One thing I don’t want happening is my GPS hourglass to spin over and over because it is unable to locate where I am telling it I want to go.  This happens because the subdivision or road I am looking for is new…but it basically boils down to one thing.  My maps need to be updated.


But guess what?!?  I have an easy fix for you!  NAVTEQ (www.updateyourmap.com), a company whose technology and maps that are in most of the in-car navigation systems or portable GPS device that you use, can save you hours of driving around trying to find your location by offering you a way to update the maps on your GPS (whether it is built into your car or not).  All you need to do is go to their website (www.updateyourmap.com) and click on the category that applies to you (in-car GPS or portable GPS) and then you can buy the update for your unit!!  It really is as easy as that!


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