Rutaesomn: The Caffeine Antidote?

Rutaesomn

Samples of Rutaesomn were received. This article is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any medical condition; always consult with your doctor before adding any supplements to your routine.

When things get ridiculously busy, my coffee consumption kicks up a notch. I already consume way more coffee than most people, and when I’m really under the gun, it’s not unusual to finding me preparing a fresh pot of coffee in the evening to keep me going during extra, extra long days. Working this much certainly isn’t something I recommend, but sometimes things happen and you just have to get through it. So when I heard about a sleeping supplement called Rutaesomn, which is meant to work almost like a caffeine antidote, my curiosity was immediately piqued. The idea behind Rutaesomn is that it’s supposed to help your body metabolize caffeine more quickly than usual, with the hope of getting it out of your system so that you can sleep easier – you take it 2-4 hours before going to bed. It’s also meant to be compatible with other sleep supplements, such as melatonin. This sounded like something that could be quite helpful to me!

In order to give this supplement the best possible test, I saved my capsules for nights when my workload was really heavy and I was drinking a lot of coffee in the evenings. I also took it by itself – no other sleep aids were consumed with it. These were my initial impressions:

Night 1 – I took a Rutaesomn capsule in the evening, washing it down with a cup of coffee. ;) I couldn’t get to sleep and was up all night in fits of wakefulness.

Night 2 – Took a capsule with a cup of coffee at 8:30 PM; couldn’t tell difference in my sleep either way. I didn’t have a worse time than usual getting to sleep, but it wasn’t necessarily any easier to fall asleep either.

Night 3 – I took a capsule with a cup of water at 9:30 PM after a long day of coffee-drinking, worked out, and passed out instantaneously when I went to bed!

Night 4 – Took Rutaesomn with a cup of water at 9:08 PM right after finishing a cup of coffee, didn’t sleep very well.

ETA: I should have been clear about what my bedtime was on these nights – I wasn’t getting into bed until at least 12 AM, which is why I took it around 8 or 9 at night.

As you can see, I put this to a really difficult test since I only drank it on high-caffeine days, often taking the supplement with my last cup of coffee of the day late at night! It didn’t do too much for me under these circumstances. However, I would definitely try this again for more typical days of coffee consumption, and I’d love to try it with melatonin.

If you’re curious to read more about Rutaesomn and the concept behind it, check out Rutaesomn.com and visit them on Facebook.

I Don’t Mind Spending Every Day Out on Your Corner in The Pouring Rain

Maroon 5 Ticket

She’s got tickets to her own show…

Yesterday, I traveled 2 hours to Ridgefield, Washington to watch Maroon 5 perform at the Sleep Country Amphitheater. I knew I had to see this show – it was happening 2 days after my 30th birthday, it’s Maroon 5′s biggest tour ever, and it had a great lineup. In true Oregonian fashion, I drove through a storm and picked up a poncho at Dollar Tree since my tickets were on the lawn!

Rozzi Crane

The first act was Rozzi Crane, who is signed to 222 records and did a song on the “Hunger Games” soundtrack with Maroon 5 last year. She did a great set – she’s a very talented vocalist and I enjoyed her songs. I wanted to get her CD after the show, since you can’t buy it online yet and she was going to be signing copies, but there was such a crush at the merch stalls that I couldn’t even see the front. I waited a few minutes but decided it would be wise to leave because I didn’t want to be walking a long way in the dark by myself (More on that in a minute).

Rozzi came back out during Maroon 5′s set to duet with Adam on “Wake Up Call” and “Moves Like Jagger”. I was surprised that they didn’t play “Come Away to The Water”, but it made total sense to have her on “Jagger” and I thought it was fun and different hearing her do some of the verses in “Wake Up Call”.

Sadly, the battery on my phone died, so I didn’t get any photos of Kelly Clarkson or Maroon 5, but I did manage to snap a pic of me huddling on the lawn in my Maroon 5 hoodie and necklace. Normally, I like to glam up for concerts, but since I was quite literally sitting in a rainstorm watching the show, I was a little limited in what I could wear!

Kelly Clarkson was the next act up, and she was great! I’ve always enjoyed her songs, and she had a great setlist of all her big hits. I don’t follow “American Idol” so I didn’t really know what her personality was like, but she is so cute and funny on stage. She kept cracking jokes during her show and her enthusiasm is contagious. At one point, she flubbed a line in “Behind These Hazel Eyes” and joked, “Ooops, I totally messed that up! At least you know I’m not lip-synching!”. It was a really fun set, and she is of course a fantastic vocalist.

All of this led up to the culmination of the night with Maroon 5′s show. This is the 4th time I’ve seen them live, and the biggest show they’ve ever done. In fact, this whole concert had the biggest production values of any show I’ve personally gone to – there were maybe 6 big screens showing the concert and pre-recorded footage/effects, tons of lights and lazers, and even a virtual appearance from Wiz Khalifa, rapping on the big screen during his portion of “PayPhone”. It was all pretty impressive – my favorite part of the whole show was during “Lucky Strike” when they threw a bunch of inflatable beach balls into the audience that changed colors under the lights. It was a joyful moment to be standing there singing and dancing in my rain poncho and batting these beach balls around!

Of course, Maroon 5 are epic live performers, so the show was flawless as ever. During the intermission, there was a nice lady sitting next to me who invited me to sit on her tarp (Thanks!), and she had never seen the band live before and wasn’t sure if her nosebleed seats in the lawn section would be worth it. I assured her that she would have a fabulous time because Maroon 5 are amazing live. So a few songs into the show, she turned to me and said, “They ARE really good!!”

It was great hearing material from Overexposed live in person for the first time. The first time I saw Maroon 5 back in 2004, they had time to play Songs About Jane in its entirety, plus cover songs – now they have so many albums out that they can’t even scratch the surface of all their work! It’s interesting to see the vibe and expanded fanbase from The Voice. All the acts had a bit of a hard time getting the crowd involved, maybe because the weather put a damper (literally) on it for a lot them. When Adam led the crowd in singing “She Will Be Loved” (A concert tradition), he split the audience up into Group A in the covered section and Group B for the lawn section, or “Grass people” as he called us. Naturally, he gave us grass people the verse, “I don’t mind spending every day out on your corner in the pouring rain,” since we were quite literally standing in the pouring rain as we sang!

After the show, I decided to bid a hasty retreat back to the street to meet Jai, since my phone died and I didn’t want to get stuck walking a long way alone in the dark. Because the parking situation at this venue is a bit of a nightmare, we decided to just have Jai drop me off nearby and meet me there, and I am so glad we did. There were 6,000 cars in the parking lot and they estimated that it wouldn’t be cleared until after 2 AM – some people got out quickly, others ended up sitting in the parking lot for an hour waiting to leave. The show started at 7 PM, and the person I was sitting next to at the show told me they had left for the concert at 3:30 PM, and they lived in Portland, which is only 20 minutes away from Ridgefield – to put that in perspective, I also left at 3:30 PM, and I was coming from Seaside! So with Jai dropping me off, I bypassed all the crazy standstill traffic. I’m not sure why it was like this, because we saw Nine Inch Nails at this same venue in 2006 and had no problem – it must have just been the volume of people, because there were literally double the amount of people as there were at NIN (Maybe more) and just trying to walk through the grounds was challenging.

This was another memorable adventure, like the first Maroon 5 concert when I took a bus to Puyallup to see them. Great times, amazing shows, and fun way to ring in my 30th year!

Total Gym XLS: Week 3 Recap

Total Gym XLS Closeup

We received a complimentary Total Gym XLS for the purposes of this series; this post also contains affiliate links. This article is an account of our personal experience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any medical condition. Always consult with physician before embarking on any fitness program.

We are 3 weeks into our Total Gym XLS journey! Here’s our measurements for this week:

Total Gym Week 3 Measurements

Both Jai and I have been seeing improvements in endurance – last night, he increased the resistance on his workout by moving the incline up from level 4 to level 5. The nice thing is that you can adjust the slope based on what exercise you’re looking to do and what your capabilities are – I’m still keeping it on the lowest possible incline, but I can see that some of the exercises are becoming easier as my arm strength improves. I’m pleased to see continued results in my arm definition, especially given the short period of time which I’ve been using this equipment.

I missed quite a few days of working out last week, from being out of town all day Thursday and then feeling under the weather when I got back. Jai and I started to come down with a bug over the weekend, so I just wanted to take it easy, and fortunately whatever flu it was seems to have dissipated. I thought this might slow my progress this week, but I still seem to be on track.

Now that it’s officially autumn, we’re starting to see typical stormy Seaside weather rear its head. We’re not in the thick of storm season yet – there are still intermittent nice days, and will continue to be for a couple more weeks at least – but the epic downpour of rain we got on Sunday made me so thankful to have a gym in my home now, so that my workouts won’t be comprised by the winter weather that will be here before I know it.

Another great aspect to having a gym system in my home is being able to squeeze in workouts on days when it probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise. I had a long workday last week and when I was finally ready to wind down the day, I thought, “Ugh, I don’t have time to workout, I need to go to bed!” Then I realized – wait a minute, it’s not like I have to commit to a long workout! So I just hopped on the machine in my PJs for a few minutes before bed. Even if my local gym had been open at that hour, I wouldn’t have wanted to get dressed and drive there just to do a 10 minute workout. Of course, you certainly don’t need to have equipment to do a quick workout, but since I focus the majority of my exercise on weights, having an all-in-one unit offers me something I have not been able to replicate outside of the gym. I think weights are fantastic for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that I’m not doing high-impact exercises like jumping jacks at the moment because I’m taking it easy on my knees.

And speaking of my knees, they are feeling the strongest and healthiest they have been since before my injury. I’ve been doing great this year in terms of walking, standing, and being able to function, but I’ve still been avoiding high-impact exercise and have a harder time with things like squatting down. But I’m regaining my strength there, too – I was able to kneel down on the beach while I was taking photos a few weeks ago, and I have been practicing doing this to get my knees used to bending and holding weight again. Now when I kneel down, it feels more like a difficult stretch rather than sharp pain. I’m excited to be working out on the Total Gym, since it’s all part of gradually getting back up to 100% athletic ability and getting my knees used to a complete range of motion again. As I’ve said, I’m just taking it nice and slow because I see no reason to rush into extremely challenging exercises and put undue strain on my knees. I’m excited to see how my progress continues over the next few months!




Squeezing The Last Drop Out of Summer With Coppertone

Coppertone Products

Sunscreen samples were received for review.

We are officially two days into autumn. I know, right?! This summer went by in a blur and then some. But despite what the calendar says, we haven’t seen the last of sunny days just yet. The weather has started to turn here in Seaside, but I still expect to see some nice days before September ends. And if you’re traveling across the US, you could find some pretty balmy weather – so don’t be fooled into forgetting your sunscreen!

My pals at Coppertone sent me some samples of their travel-friendly line, designed to comply with 3-1-1 TSA restrictions for carry-on liquids. This is super handy, since I am always buying these travel sizes before I fly! They’re also great for tucking into your handbag for road trips, as I did last week when we went up to Seattle. Yes, I am Oregonian driving to Seattle in September, and I had to apply sunscreen. Twice. In the car!! I burn easily, OK? Luckily, I had Coppertone SPORT®’s travel size lotion in SPF 50. I’ve used this twice so far – it worked great on the drive, and I also applied it before hitting the beach earlier in the month. My skin “Felt” a little sunburnt after that trip to the beach, although it looked fine. I don’t think that was the sunscreen’s fault, as I was out during peak hours and I have found that even with sunscreen on, I can get burnt during peak times. I also find it harder to get total coverage with a cream, which is why the Coppertone aerosol spray I reviewed earlier in the year has been so amazing. I’m seriously going to buy another aerosol spray next time I buy sunblock for use at home, and save these handy creams for traveling by plane, where you of course can’t bring aerosol sprays.

Another product I tried out was Coppertone Kids Stick Sunblock in SPF 55. I love this for getting around hard-to-cover areas like your ears, since you can be more targeted and don’t have to worry about slopping cream all over your hair.

Oh, and remember how I mentioned in my last review that I liked the Oil Free Faces but thought that SPF 15 was a little low for me? Well, this time I got a tube of SPF 55 – perfect!

So, if you’re hitting the road to soak up the last of the good weather before we get completely deluged in October’s storms, remember that the sun can be sneaky so don’t forget the sunblock! For more info on suncare, you can check out Coppertone’s “Making The Grade” program which provides info about best practices for keeping kids safe from sunburns.

Don’t Text And Drive: #ItCanWait Blogger Event in Seattle

It Can Wait Seattle Event

Complimentary refreshments & goody bags were provided.

I have never operated a phone while driving. When I see people cruising down the freeway while texting in one hand, eating a slice of pizza in the other, and looking everywhere but the road, it terrifies me. I think people forget that when they step into a car, they are operating a huge machine that could easily cause countless deaths. I’m not trying to be a downer, I just wish people would take driving more seriously.

Texting while driving really blows my mind. Honestly, if I’m a blog event or conference, I often don’t tweet very much until the end of the event because I have a hard time concentrating on two things at once; and I’d rather concentrate my attention on the great people I’m talking to in person and share all my fun photos later. So if I have a hard time simply sending an Instagram photo while having a face-to-face conversation with someone, how in the world could anybody focus enough to text and drive? Answer: They can’t. Here’s just a few links to statistics on cell phone usage and cars:

So when Jai and I were invited to a blogger event sponsored by AT&T in Seattle for National Pledge to Wait Day on September 19th, we were pleased to get involved since we both feel very strongly about the importance of paying attention while driving. Jai is actually the one who taught me how to drive, so I guess his anti-texting stance rubbed off on me since we’re both cautious drivers. ;) The “It Can Wait” event was held at the beautiful Willows Lodge in Woodinville, Washington.

The event was hosted by Louise of MomStart, and I was so excited to finally meet her in person! Louise and I have been reading each other’s sites since we started blogging, and I also began contributing to MomStart earlier in the year. I also got to meet other Seattle bloggers including Saving 4 Five and fellow MomStart contributors Emily and Lynn – it was wonderful hanging out with these great women!

We ate some delicious food over great conversation. One of the things we discussed were the powerful short documentaries that AT&T have put together, sharing the stories of those whose lives have been changed forever due to accidents caused while texting. You may have seen clips from these documentaries aired during TV commercials – you can see the full AT&T Don’t Text While Driving Documentary below, but make sure you have Kleenex handy:

There was also a texting and driving simulator game at the event, so guests could see first-hand the effects of distracted driving – you can try the simulator out for yourself by clicking here.

No Texting on Board!

Jai and I got to take home some fun little swag bags after the event. There’s a “No Text on Board” t-shirt – I’m totally going to wear this the next time I’m in charge of driving people somewhere! – a handy screen cleaner, “It Can Wait” thumb rings, stickers, temporary tattoos, and tasty candy.

So how you can you get involved to stop texting and driving?

Take the pledge at ItCanWait.com and vow never to text while behind the wheel.

Put your phone away when you’re getting into the car to avoid temptation.

Encourage your friends to learn the facts and stop using their phones on the road.

I also think that the culture of “Instant access” puts pressure on people to reply to messages immediately, even when they’re driving or otherwise occupied. Now that cell phones keep us connected 24/7, people have started to confuse promptness with responding to a query within 30 seconds. I have had people start to panic if they can’t get ahold of me for a very mundane matter within half an hour. Remember, people still need to drive, shower, work and sleep; I think if we stop putting so much pressure on each other to be instantly accessible, anytime, anywhere, we can reduce the number of people who feel like they simply must text while driving. I remember the days before cell phones, when you could leave the house and nobody knew where you were; somehow, we all survived just fine! Even if there is a true emergency, the person who is trying to call or text you should be calling 911, not you. So turn off that phone when you get into the car and let people know that you refuse to text and drive – because really and truly, it can wait.

Will you take the pledge with me to stop texting and driving?

Girl’s Game Night With Tapple

Tapple

Thanks to Tapple for providing a complimentary game for our girl’s night in! This post contains an Amazon Associates link.

I love playing board games, but I don’t get to do it very often these days. So when one of my BFFs came over to celebrate her birthday, I thought it would be a great time to bust out a new game I wanted to try: Tapple. This is a word game – one of my favorite kinds! – so it sounded like a lot of fun.

Tapple consists of a battery-powered game board and a deck of cards. Each card had a category and players much come up with an appropriate word in said category and hit the corresponding key on the board. So for example, if the card was “Ice Cream Flavors”, you’d hit the letter “C” for “Chocolate”. The timer gives you 10 seconds to come up with a word, then buzzes. The keys can not be selected again until the round is over, so once a letter is taken, you have to get creative! The categories range in everything from “Dog & Cat Breeds” to “Actors”.

This was quite fun – nothing makes you forget every word you’ve ever learned quite like a 10-second time limit, which of course is the fun and challenge of it! My friend gave some very interesting answers, because she’s a big cheater the instructions encourage “Creativity and imagination”. ;) We laughed quite a bit coming up with silly answers! The main drawback for me is the fact that the gameboard excludes certain letters like “V” and “X” – there were two instances where I yelled out answers like “Valentine’s Day!” or “Xylophone!”, only to cry “Nooooooo!” when I realized they weren’t on the board. ;) But I suppose that’s all part of the challenge!

Playing Tapple!

Posing with the Tapple box. ;)

Pick up your own Tapple Board Game on Amazon for $19.99!

LEGO® KidsFest Winner!

LEGO KidsFest

I will receive complimentary admission to LEGO® KidsFest for my participation in this campaign.

Congratulations going out to Brian, the winner of our LEGO® KidsFest ticket giveaway! If you didn’t win today, you can still snag a $2 discount through Friday by using promo code USFG13. And don’t forget to visit the official website for more info on the event! See you there!

Total Gym XLS: Week 2 Recap

Total Gym Workout Cards

We received a complimentary Total Gym XLS for the purposes of this series; this post also contains affiliate links. This article is an account of our personal experience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any medical condition. Always consult with physician before embarking on any fitness program.

We’ve been using our Total Gym XLS for 2 weeks now. Jai and I took our measurements this morning and compared them to our measurements taken the first day of using the gym, September 4th, using the measurement calculating spreadsheet we made. Here’s our results:

Total Gym Measurements - 09/17/13

I wasn’t surprised to see that my arms had reduced by .7″, because I’ve been noticing a difference in how they appear for about a week. I haven’t been able to really work out for several months, and I was really frustrated that my arms had lost some of their tone and definition. This is the first thing that has snapped back now that I can exercise regularly again, so I’m very pleased!

Both Jai and I have had a great time getting to know this machine and what it can do. You can get a really intense workout in a short period of time – Jai’s been working his whole body, while I’ve been doing mainly my arms and abs. I’m not rushing too much with the legs since I don’t want to put unnecessary strain on my knees; we’re both conscious of not overdoing it in this first month so that we don’t pull anything by going too gung-ho. Remember, I’m the girl who dislocated both her kneecaps by going too hard on the stair machine! ;)

Our workouts don’t take a lot of time – maybe half an hour or less, depending on what we’re doing – but they’re high-intensity and we can really feel it afterwards. It’s so cool to have something so efficient; I really see how much time gets eaten up by driving to the local gym, getting ready, and so on. With Total Gym, I can do my workout while I run a load of laundry! I can also do things I could never do in a gym, like workout while wearing a face masque and a skirt. Yes, that happened, and it was awesome!

So far, we’ve been using the workout instructional cards as our guide for the exercises. These are really nice, because it gives you time to study the posture and form as you learn the technique. Now that I’m getting comfortable with the basic movements, I’m going to start watching the DVDs so I can start to incorporate more exercises and tips into my workouts. There are so many different ways that you can use the machine, and it really does an impressive job of working all your muscle groups. We’re excited to already be feeling some results, and looking forward to having such an easy way to workout, especially as the weather gets progressively worse and we enter into the hectic Fall/Winter work season.





What has your workout routine been like this week, readers?