Healthy Living / Running

Let’s talk Honest!


Last year when we made a big overhaul to the way we eat, we also made a big ol’ overhaul to the products we use to clean our house and the products we use on our bodies as well. I know that a lot of household cleaners and body products can be self made, but I decided I would rather spend extra time on making food from scratch and save time in these particular areas. I went on a big search for brands and items that would work well for our family. It was really important to me because I think we pay a lot of attention to the food we eat, without much thought about the products we put on our bodies. They’re getting absorbed into out bodies just like the food we eat, right? I hated how almost every soap, cleaner, shampoo out there was full of colored dyes, bad chemicals, etc… After searching a bit I ended up really falling in love with Honest. I know Honest has been around now for a while but it was the first time I really started using their products. They’re simple to order (go with the monthly bundles!!) and I only have great things to say about all the products we’ve been using over the past year. I signed up to receive a monthly bundle every month- I change the products that will show up at our doorstep depending on what we’re out of. The products below are the staples in our house. They’re my most loved Honest items! I would totally recommend giving them a try if you haven’t already.

1. Toothpaste:

It was a must for us to find a toothpaste that did have SLS in it. We love both the kids and the adult versions. They even sell travel sizes making it super handy when you travel. The kids love the strawberry flavor and I love the mint.

2. Spray Hand Sanitizer:

Ohhh let me sing the praises of this hand sanitizer! I have tried a lot of them over the years since having kids and these are BY FAR my favorite. Have you ever noticed how disgustingly neon pink the soap is in most public bathrooms? I make everyone get a good heavy spray after potty breaks and we’re good to go. I love not having to touch the sinks and dryers that are also covered in germs.

3. Vitamins:

These are the newest additions to our bundles. I’ve been taking the prenatal vitamin for a few months now and the girls love the kids chewable ones.

4. Conditioner:

Our whole house uses the shampoo and conditioner from Honest. Love that it makes my hair soft with out feeling weighed down with added gunk.

5. Multi Purpose Cleaner:

We use this for EVERYTHING!

6. Shave Oil:

This is one of my top favorites. It feels like a little spa treatment when you shave. My legs tingle (from the menthol crystals) and are so soft after using it in the shower.

7. Sun Screen:

I am a stickler about sun screen. Oooh it can be so bad for you even when it is doing something soooo good for you. Ingredients in sunscreen is something really important to me. I love the Honest sunscreen, especially the sun stick. Man! That thing is so handy. I leave one in my purse at all times. The amount of times it has saved all of us from sunburns! Perfect for quick under eye, nose, forehead coverage at the park on a sunny day.

8. Fruit and Veggie Wash:

I try to buy organic as much as we can but this fruit and veggie wash helps with some piece of mind when I can’t. Spray produce down and wash it off. Simple as that!

*This is not a sponsored post by Honest. Just my honest (no pun intended) opinions on the products that we use and love in our household. There is an affiliate link used though.

10 Tips For Cold Weather Running


Brrrrr! Winter is here. The temperatures are low and the snow has made it’s debut. For most people (including me until a few years ago) that meant putting away the running shoes till the spring months. I used to assume no one ran in the winter. Or should I say, I assumed I couldn’t run in the winter. Last year in an attempt to convince Kev we needed to go to Hawaii on vacation, I told him we could run the Honolulu marathon together while we were there. It worked and we registered for the race. It was nearing the end of the fall so that meant lots and lots of training in freezing weather. I pictured it being brutal and yes, some of it was but all in all I sort of fell in love with running in the Winter. Something about it just refreshes my soul like no other run in the summer has ever done. The cold air in your lungs and the quiet silence the winter brings is so dang peaceful. I can’t get enough. It does take some effort and a bit of planning, but here are some tips that have helped me along the way…

snow^^pictures from my run the other morning.

1. Layers

When you are use to running in warmer weather it can be quite an adjustment being covered up so much. Remember to wear light layers to stay warm. It’s a fine balance between wearing too much and wearing not enough. You have to find the sweet spot in the middle. Wearing too much can make you sweat more than you’d like, which in the end will just leave you extra cold and damp. Wearing not enough obviously just doesn’t keep you warm enough either. I usually wear one base layer, a light running jacket to break the wind and lined running leggings. The rule of thumb is to dress as if it is 20 degrees warmer than it really is outside.

2. Appropriate gear

This is so huge! It will make or break your winter running. It can be a bit of an invest up front but the items will last you forever. You could definitely make do with whatever you have and over time add a piece here and there too.

Base Layer: Like I mentioned above I always run with a stretchy, tight fitting base layer. Something like this, this or this.

Jacket: I wear a similar jacket to this. It cuts the wind and adds the warmth. It’s super important to get moisture wicking fabric on all your gear. It will totally help keep your body temperature warm! Love this Nike jacket!

Leggings: I’ve tried a lot of winter running leggings. They are usually lined with a light fleece type material. I never really found a pair I liked all that much. They always felt stiff and heavy. I just got this pair at Target a little while ago and OMGOSH! They are by far the most comfy pair of leggings ever. I totally wear them around the house even when I am not running. They are so soft, light weight, stay in place and super warm! These ones look pretty great as well!

Shoes: If i’ve been running a lot of miles, I try to time out my new shoes for end of fall and end of spring. That way when fall ends I can get a trail running shoe for the winter. They are usually more durable, waterproof and a bit thicker of a shoe. Which makes it perfect for winter running with snow, ice and cold temperature. These are my top trail picks Saucony, Merrell, Helly Hansen.

3. Pay attention to temperatures and wind chill

I will admit my “I really hate every minute of this” point is around 23 degrees or less. If the sun is out and there is no wind then I am still good at that temp, but oh man! That wind chill is deadly. Be aware of what it “actually” feels like outside and not just what the thermometer is saying. It makes a big, big difference.

4. Get warm first

Before you head outside to run, do some light stretching and warm up in the house. Try not to get sweaty yet but enough to feel warm and loose. It will make heading out in the cold not so bad.

5. Train your body

Running in the Winter isn’t something that just naturally feels good. I feel like you have to train your body. Every year when the falls ends and the winter begins, I have to go through a few weeks of transition as my body adjusts to the cold weather. It takes practice. Your lungs burn a bit at first, your legs can feel weak. It just takes time to figure it all out. Stick with it!

6. Forget about PR’s

Winter running isn’t for running super fast training runs. At least not for me. It will be hard to hit your fastest time. Just soak up the beauty, the silence, the fact that you are actually out of the house and just run!

7. Hydrate

I totally forget to drink water when I run in the winter. It’s weird. You are just as out of breathe but because it’s not 80 degrees it doesn’t come to mind as quick as it does in the summer. DON’T FORGET!!!

8. Cover all body parts (hat, gloves, ankles, face shield):

Appropriate gear goes so much farther than just jackets and pants in the winter. You should make sure almost all of your skin is covered. I am partial to gloves that have half fingers but also the mitten that flaps over. Sometimes when I am feeling just a bit too hot, I will undo that flap and let my fingers hit the air. Just that alone is enough to make me feel cooler. I love a hat over a handband but both work great. I wear tall socks that also wick moisture and I pull them up over my leggings (it’s not real fashionable but hey…) I also wear a neck warmer. Kev loves a face shield. For me though, as long as the neck warmer has a drawstring that I can tighten up over my chin, I’m happy! Also good to pick up a pair of these!

9. Be visible

Remember it gets dark super fast and early. You don’t want to be caught out in the dark on the side of the road. Make sure to plan your run before the sun goes down or wear a reflective vest. Safety first!

10. Have fun

Above all else… don’t take it or yourself too seriously. Have fun with it. Don’t let the gear hold you back. You can make do. Don’t wait till January first to start some kind of exercise routine either. Ask for some of items for Christmas and get out there!! I promise you CAN learn to love it. And if you’re a crazy person like me, you might even like running in the winter better than any other time of year.

p.s. for those wondering about your kiddos. I totally still take them out in the stroller with me. If it’s real cold, we keep it short and sweet for everyone but they still come with. I bundle them up with coats, hats and gloves. Then Finley gets in her little bundler and Rowan (she out grew hers) gets a warm blanket. I also use the weather shield to cover the stroller and block the wind. Creates a cozy cocoon in there for them.

Living a Simple, Intentional Life | Pt. 4 Diet and Exercise


I’m going to dive into another area today on this journey of living more intentionally. Today let’s talk about diet and exercise. A lot has changed for us as far as food choices and working out this past year. It all started around the beginning of the year actually. We decided to cancel our family membership at the YMCA. We loved going but we never consistently got to work out without being called back to the childcare area. Finley hated being left there. It also took a huge chunk of our night to get everyone packed up, drive there, drop off the girls in the child area, work out and then drive home. It seemed like a whole night affair. For Christmas last year Kev got T25 from my parents. Between T25, Insanity, a few yoga videos, some Tracy Anderson videos and running we decided we were better off just canceling our membership. 80 bucks a month saved! It’s been working pretty well for us ever since. We have a little area set up in the basement with weights and a tv to do videos. The girls play area is down there as well so most of the time they just play while we work out right next to them.

I will be the first to admit I don’t love to work out. I think it’s sort of a myth and honestly an excuse when people say they don’t work out because they really don’t love it or they aren’t an athletic person. I think very few of us really LOVE working out. I know some people definitely do. Kev is one of those people, I am not. I work out because I know the benefits far outweigh my excuses. I am not a natural runner either. I’ve run a lot of races and talk a lot about running but I always need to force myself to sign up for a race, pay the stupid amount of money to register and then tell everyone about it just to keep myself accountable to sticking with it. Don’t fool yourself by thinking you can’t do it. It’s such a mind game. Also, don’t trick yourself by assuming that you have to go so hardcore to even make it worthwhile. A mindset like that will be so intimidating that you’ll likely just give up before you even try. You don’t need to work out everyday. Start where you are. Take a walk, try some stretching. Just make it consistent and stick with it for at least a month. I promise it will become a habit you will miss when it’s not there.

I think we should all get rid of the idea that we consistently have to be losing weight or that the only reason to work out is to lose weight. I decided this year that I was going to work out without an end goal. Because really, once you reach your end goal then what? you stop working out? I wanted to make it a lifetime habit. Something I do to feel strong, healthy, and happy.


Around March last year I decided to go on a food cleanse for Lent. What an unknowing turning point in our life. Through those 40 days I read a ton about food, ingredients, diets and really did a 180 degree turn with how we approach food in our house. We all love to eat but through the cleanse I realized just how important the food we choose to eat is. I hate diets. The word makes me cringe. Diets are fads. They don’t last, are hard to stick with and are crazy restrictive. What if we looked at food in a completely different way? What if we chose to eat wholesome, real homemade food and didn’t have to worry about calories or intake? What if instead of “I can’t eat that” it was “I don’t want to eat that”? A light switch went on in my head during Lent. This was so much more than restricting what we were going to be eating from now on. Do we honestly realize how much processed food we eat in our culture? It’s mind blowing and sad. In the book Notes From A Blue Bike, Tsh talks about a slow food way of eating. How it’s important to take your time when cooking meals — that we should be involving our kids in the cooking process, spending more on an emptier cart, being informed on what our food choices mean for others in the world and the importance of farmers markets and eating what’s in season. The whole chapter (THE ENTIRE BOOK) really spoke to me. I want my girls to grow up with a healthy body image. I don’t want food to be an issue. Our culture overloads young girls with this idea that food is the enemy to looking your best. I don’t want this for them. Of course balance is key but I want to teach them how to think differently about the food we eat.

We made some major changes to our pantry and fridge. I really do try to make everything now (granola, granola bars, salad dressings, sauces, sweets, etc…) that we use to buy and was processed. There are, of course, some great choices out there for you when you need a quicker option but you have to look. Not all packaged food is created equal even when it’s organic or “all natural”. The biggest thing is just how important label reading is. I read every label of everything we buy. I really try to make sure things have 5 or less ingredients and that I can pronounce them and know what they are. I challenge you to take charge of what you eat. Learn what all those ingredients in the food you are eating are. I know it can sound overwhelming when someone starts talking about this. But really any little change you make is a start in the right direction. Find the balance that works for you and your family.

If by chance you are looking for some new workout gear to give yourself a boost of confidence to start working out or to kick it up a notch,  I would highly recommend the new activewear line from Boden. I have a lot of running gear but these items are by far the softest most comfy pants, tank and hoodie I own. Boden is offering 15% off any of their activewear line now until Nov. 9th with code: YOGA

Would love to hear from your guys how you approach eating and working out??



*I am in no way a doctor or dietician. Everything I wrote in this post simply reflects my own personal thoughts. There is of course a time and place for diets and working out to lose weight.

A Weekend Away

We left early Friday morning to head up to Canada for the weekend. Of course with a quick stop in Rochester to pick up my sister, stretch our legs and get some lunch and drinks from Javas. Rowan loves going behind the counter with Auntie Amy to make all the drinks. I know I haven’t lived in Canada for quite sometime but every time we cross the border it feels like home. Especially in the fall. How can you not love fall in Ontario? Oh it smells so good. My youngest sister and her husband just moved back to Ontario from BC. They hadn’t met Finley yet, so it was a pretty special trip to be able to introduce them to her. It was sort of a whirlwind of a weekend. Seeing family, driving back and forth into toronto, picking up race packets, and of course running our race. We were beat yesterday afternoon after all was said and done. Everyone ended up falling asleep yesterday afternoon and we didnt even end up leaving to come back to NY till 7pm. Yikes. It was a tough drive home. We pulled in the driveway around 3am. Tired, but so happy to have spent the time away. I love my family. I wish we got to see them more often.

The race was awesome. It was the most perfect day! I even met a lovely blog reader around 16k! She was a super runner and blew right passed up. haha. Way to go girl! It was so nice to meet you! Being able to run the race with Kev was awesome. Makes all the difference. Love being able to share that with him.

Now… time to sign up for the next marathon!

Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev