Give the Gift of CLE

The holidays are sadly over and you may not be thinking about gifts right now, but I certainly am! Why? Because my birthday is just a few weeks away. And as is the curse of having a birthday around the holidays, people often don’t want to celebrate, don’t know what to get me, or even sometimes forget. Do you have a friend or family member who just got everything on their list for the holidays, but has a birthday coming up? Fear not – here’s a potential gift idea … CLE Pack!

CLE Pack is package featuring products from local Cleveland organizations. You can pick a package of 5, 7 or 9 items and they range from foodstuffs (sweet treats and savory snacks), local collateral (like tote bags or can holders or stickers) and other fun items like chapstick, keychains, etc. CLE Pack sent me a package of 7 items to try out for free (thanks, CLE Pack for the early birthday gift!) and I loved it.

Some fun facts about CLE Pack:

  • CLE Pack was just started in August 2018. Igor Oliyarnik is the founder and the idea was born over 4 years ago when he saw a similar business in Baltimore called “Baltimore in a Box”.
  • The most popular items in the package are the food. Bertman Mustard has been the #1 seller, followed by Campbell’s popcorn and Malley’s Chocolates.
  • The founder, Igor Oliyarnik, is not originally from Cleveland. He was born in Ukraine and moved to Cleveland with his parents when he was ten years old. He shared: “I’m now in my 30’s and proud to call Cleveland my home. I think the city has a very unique personality and a bright future because of the people that live here. It has been great watching the city improve in many different ways over the last two decades that I’ve been here.”

The items I chose for my package included:

  • Malley’s CLE Chocolate Bar
  • Fear’s Confections CLE Chocolate Bar
  • Ohio Pure Maple Syrup
  • Crazy Monkey Baking Dark Chocolate Chip Granola Cookie Crunch
  • Bertman Ball Park Horseradish Sauce
  • Sweet Moses Cleveland Chocolate Bar
  • Cleveland Landmarks Tote Bag

I LOVE that CLE Pack is all local Cleveland items. And while I was familiar with some of the companies they include (like Malley’s, Bertman and Campbell’s), CLE Pack also introduced me to some new local brands, like Crazy Monkey Baking.

CLE Pack would make a great gift for more than just a friend whose birthday is coming up. In fact, I was thinking that CLE Pack would also be a great unique gift for:

  • A new neighbor, especially one new to the city
  • A friend that has moved away and misses their Cleveland favorites
  • A hostess gift for that family who has everything
  • Members of a wedding party or close family coming into town for a wedding

Some questions for you:

  • What would you choose?
  • Have you had any of these items?

Disclosure: I was asked by CLE Pack to promote their products. In exchange, I recieved a free box for myself. As always, views are my own.

Friday 5: 5 Gift Ideas for Runners

The holiday season is officially upon us! Meaning I can finally listen to holiday music (who am I kidding – I’ve already started) and start decorating and baking!

That means it’s also time for holiday shopping. As someone who likes to run, I consider myself easy to shop for this holiday season. When in doubt- just get me something running related! (or baking or cooking related … but that’s another list for another time:) ) Here are some thoughts on some gifts for every runner in your life.

Their Favorite Pair of Shoes

Runners go through a lot of shoes – and we often aren’t that great about replacing them. So why not get him (or her) a pair of her favorite shoes before she needs them? I personality swap out Nike shoes with Saucony Rides. I’m currently wearing Saucony Ride 6s but the 7s are super cute as well aren’t they?

The newest Saucony Rides

b and i at packet pickup rnr savannah half marathon

Current Saucony Rides (yes, that’s a pic from our Savannah race and there’s a beer between my shoes)


PRO Compression Socks

I was lucky enough to be given a pair of PRO Compression¬†socks to try out and I’m hooked. Seriously hooked. I wear these socks anytime my shin is bothering me even if I’m not working out (yes, even to work! I hide them underneath boots).

PRO Compression socks sticking out of my boots - see, I wear them to work too :)

PRO Compression socks sticking out of my boots – see, I wear them to work too ūüôā

 

I’ve been known to wear my marathon socks¬†on long carrides, on long runs, over my spandex in the winter to keep warm (sometimes my leggings reveal my ankles and if I wear these knee high socks I don’t get cold ankles!), and more.

Winter-ready with PRO Compression socks (and Yaktraks!)

Winter-ready with PRO Compression socks (and Yaktraks! See # 5 on this list)

Not familiar with compression socks? They’re a runners’ best friend (well one of her bffs). According to PRO Compression, “True graduated compression promotes circulation by pushing fluid up from your feet and ankles to toward your knees. This design also helps reduce swelling and inflamation while providing critical support to muscles and tendons.” All I know is that when I’m feeling sore or tired, I really believe these socks help.

Wearing my new black PRO Compression socks during my recent Turkey Trot

Wearing my new black PRO Compression socks during my recent Turkey Trot

Buying some PRO Compression socks? Enter the code¬†PINK2¬†at checkout for a 40% discount through December 15! If you’re running any holiday races be sure to check out the fun holiday-themed socks they have too!

Rocking my neon PRO Compression socks with shorts at a race this summer

Rocking my neon PRO Compression socks with shorts at a race this summer

 

Some Reading Material (like a subscription to a running magazine or a few running books)

It took me years to finally “splurge” and buy a subscription to Runners World magazine – and only after my niece was selling magazines for a school fundraiser. But I love the magazine and would’ve gladly taken it as a gift! Same with running books – I love¬†What I Talk About When I Talk About Running¬†but have heard great things about¬†Born to Run,¬†Running Like A Girl, Marathon Man¬†and so many more books.

     

 

 

Arm Candy – an Activity Monitor and/or GPS watch

Runners like stats. We like to know how many miles we’ve run, how many minutes we’ve been active, average pace, steps taken, and so on – during and outside our workouts. I personally have been wanting a Fitbit and a Garmin for more than a year now but saw that the new Fitbit Surge is coming out next year which looks like a great solution for a runner who wants a Fitbit plus a GPS watch in one. Now the hard part – do I wait for the Surge to come out to wait for reviews and see what it looks like? OR just get the traditional Fitbit I’ve been wanting that’s stylish but doesn’t provide my mileage/GPS needs?

Which fitbit should I get?

Winter Running Gear

If you’re in my part of the country (midwest and northeast, depending on when you read this post), it’s starting to get cold, snowy and well, sometimes it’s tough to get out for a run. Do you want to know a secret? Cute and comfortable winter running gear! When I know I have warm (and fun) clothing to put on it’s so much better! Some of my favorites?

A running vest.¬†B got me a running vest a few years ago for Christmas and it’s been one of my favorite pieces of my running wardrobe ever since. It has zip away sleeves (so it’s also a jacket!), three zipper pockets and is waterproof. I will wear this thing until it wears itself thin.

A bright running jacket/pullover.¬†If you’re running outside in the winter and you have a day job, chances are you’re running in the dark. It’s dark in the morning and dark at night. One way to combat this? A bright colored running jacket. See the above photo for my obnoxiously bright yellow warm running pullover. Bonus points if it has thumb hole sleeves and a zipper pocket for keys!

Running gloves. I’ve actually found that those $5 gloves found at every single drug store/dollar store/convenience store does the trick unless it’s reallly cold. Plus, I don’t feel bad if I lose one or need to throw them away during a race.

For $4/pair, you can wear these only a few times and still feel good about the purchase! Plus you can text – or check your nike+ app on your phone – with them on!

YakTraks¬†or other winter running shoe gear. Snow can’t keep you indoors all winter; that’s why I’m so glad I purchased YakTraks last year. I just pull them over my shoes and poof – they’re good to go in the snow and ice! I found the Yaktrax Pro¬†work really well and I don’t feel nervous that I’m going to slip and fall during a run. Plus they look kinda cool – don’t they? Oh hey, this photo shows you my Yaktraks, PRO Compression socks AND a bright colored pullover:

Wearing my PRO Compression socks over my spandex

Wearing my PRO Compression socks over my spandex

Okay, I know I added more than 5 because of all the sub-gift ideas in the last category. But come on – there are just so many ways to make the runner in your life have a happy holiday season!

Some questions for you (answer in the comments):

  • Runners, what did I miss? What would you add?
  • Have you done any holiday shopping yet? Not yet … yikes, but I guess it’s time to get started!
  • Tell me the truth – when did you start listening to holiday music? Do you wait until after Thanksgiving?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links AND¬†I received a complimentary pair of PRO Compression socks to review. Still, all thoughts are my own in the post. I loved PRO Compression even before they sent me a pair of socks ūüôā I don’t have relationships with any of the other brands in this post, I just love them all!