Tag Archives: giveaway

OXO Salad Dressing Shaker: Review & Giveaway

15 Jun

Is there a better way to start Friday than with a giveaway? I didn’t think so…

A while back OXO sent me a salad dressing shaker to try out. It’s like they know me or something? I eat salad almost every single day.

Dressing Shaker 1

It took me a while to finally bust this baby out of the box, but now that I have it’s going to be put to great use.

The OXO Salad dressing shaker has three uses:




Oh and another use they don’t list on the label:


Dressing Shaker 2

I went straight to work concocting a dressing to have with a dinner of grilled mahi mahi and grilled sweet potatoes.

Apple Cider Lime Vinaigrette


1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup lime juice

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp cilantro

Combine all ingredients in your shaker bottle and shake until well combined!

The only problem with this dressing is the lack of thickness. My brother told me to use xanthan gum, so I guess I’ll have to invest in some of that!

Here’s what I like about this bottle:

  • The lid screws on – so as long as you screw it on properly you don’t have to worry about messes
  • You can measure, mix, pour, store – without dirtying multiple dishes
  • The lid has a flip up top for easy pouring, and when you flip it back down it seals nicely, so your dressing won’t go bad sitting in the fridge.

Now here’s the fun part – would you like to win one of these for yourself?! Here’s your chance.

Please leave one comment per entry.

(Required) Follow OXO on Twitter

(Required) Follow me on Twitter

(Optional) Tweet about this giveaway: @runcupcake is giving away an @oxo salad dressing shaker bottle, enter for your chance to win one here: http://wp.me/p25oLf-P5

Entries will be accepted until 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 21st. Good luck to you!




*DISCLAIMER: OXO provided me with these salad dressing shakers at no cost to me, in exchange for a fair and honest review.*


Race Day Giveaway

6 May

Hey everyone!

While I’m off basking in the glory of my 7th half marathon you have an opportunity to win a truly ass kicking prize.

Yup, I’m still giving stuff away. It’s craziness around here.

I am giving you the opportunity to win a Coaching Plan from 26.2+ LLC

Seriously. A full blown Coaching Plan – You choose the distance (from 5k to marathon), they provide the rest.

26.2+ LLC is an online running business dedicated to the working athlete that exists to keep you training strong, see you reach your running goals from 5K to the marathon, grow, and strengthen the running community.

Check out their Coaching page for all that they offer.

Phil is a local guy, who I haven’t had the opportunity to actually meet yet, but we run a lot of the same routes, so it will happen. I am so pleased to offer you guys a giveaway from a local company! SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESS!

So, now that you are all fired up about getting your very own custom training plan, here’s how you enter:

1) Follow 26.2+ LLC on Twitter (Required) https://twitter.com/#!/26point2plus

2) Follow me on Twitter. (Required) https://twitter.com/#!/runcupcake

3) Tell me what training plan you’d choose if you’d win, and what race you’d use it for. (Optional)

4) Tweet about this giveaway: @runcupcake is giving away a coaching plan from @26point2plus for her 2-year raciversary. Enter here: http://wp.me/p25oLf-Km (Optional)

This is a seriously wicked prize – thank you Phil, for offering this up to my readers!

Good luck to everyone who enters!

Giveaway is open to all US residents.

Giveaway ends at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 12th.


It’s Taper Time!

1 May

First off, in case you missed it:

PT Tweet

Exciting stuff! They were practically throwing me out of the office – I guess that means I’m healed, right?

Okay, so, it’s that time again. Taper time! This taper won’t be horrendous since I haven’t really been running much anyway.

Tonight, though, I did run. Coachy said something that resonated with me, and really lit a fire up under my ass today. He said if I want to get better, faster, stronger, it’s going to be hard and it’s going to hurt (good hurt of course), but it will be worth it in the long run (pun not so much intended, but rather amusing). Now I know I’ve been told this a million times but for some reason today it just sunk in. I decided right then and there – to hell with excuses, to hell with floundering over decisions, I have a plan, I know what I need to do, so I’m doing it. And do it I did (at the gym, on the treadmill – damn rain)– my splits looked like this:

Mile 0-0.75: 9:50 pace

Mile 0.75-1: 8:57 pace

Mile 1-1.75: 9:50 pace

Mile 1.75-2: 8:57 pace

A couple of notes – I wasn’t feeling tired. My legs felt fresh, even just 48 hours after my speedy Sunday run. My lungs felt fine, no breathing struggles at all.

Because of all this goodness I decided to finish strong:

Mile 2-2.75: 9:50 pace

Mile 2.75-3: 8:34 pace

Even that last quarter mile “sprint” didn’t feel hard. I was shocked! And now, I still feel great. I think I’m at a major breakthrough point – some more hard work and hard training and we’ll see what good things I can accomplish.

Maybe starting on Sunday? We’ll see.

Speaking of good things – you know what time it is? It’s time for another giveaway! We are still celebrating my blog-iversary after all!

Giveaway Week Banner

It’s not called a giveaway week for nothing! One thing I did forget to tell you guys is that everything I’m giving away this week is personal in one way, shape, or form to me.

Sparkly Soul headbands? (This giveaway is still open!) I can’t workout without one on my head!

Perky Jerky – I’d never had turkey jerky before, and now that I’m not eating red meat (99.9% of the time hehe), it fits into my life perfectly. (Still a little time left to get in on this one!).

And tonight – Chobani. That’s right my friends. One lucky winner will receive a case of Chobani! Thank you Chobani, for providing not ONLY one lucky reader with a case, but also providing me with a case. Yum. You guys seriously rock.


I love Chobani – and even though I’ve cut way back on dairy, I’ll still eat it. Friends and family alike recommended trying Lactaid – and sure enough it works. So, I’m self diagnosed lactose intolerant. Which means, if I have a craving for Cho, I’m going to eat it! I’m still mostly avoiding dairy, just like red meat. HAHA.

I have a feeling this is going to be a popular giveaway, so I’m going to give you guys a bunch of options for entering!

1) Follow Running and Cupcakes (look to your right – where it says “Follow Me”) (Required)

2) Tell me your FAVORITE Chobani flavor. Mine is Apple Cinnamon. (Required)

3) Follow Chobani on Twitter. https://twitter.com/#!/Chobani (Optional)

4) Follow me on Twitter. https://twitter.com/#!/runcupcake (Optional)

5) Share a link with me of your favorite recipe made with Chobani. (Optional)

6) Tweet: @Chobani is giving away a case to one lucky reader with @runcupcake. Enter here: http://wp.me/p25oLf-Jj

There you have it my friends! 6 ways to win a case of Chobani!

This giveaway will be open for one week – I will accept entries until Midnight, Tuesday, May 8th.

Please leave a separate message for each entry!

Good luck!

I hope everyone had a great Tuesday. Stay tuned for another wicked awesome giveaway tomorrow! Smile


P.S. Have I told you guys yet that I have some seriously awesome guest bloggers set up for you for this weekend? Just you wait and see – you will not be disappointed!

Monday Love: Race Week Edition

30 Apr

Hey hey everyone! Can you believe it – Cox Rhode Races half marathon is a short 5 days away! It’s going to be here before we know it!

With that being said, what better time than to offer up a “Race Week Edition” of my favorite way to beat a case of the Mondays? So, what am I loving this race week?

1) Completing a training schedule: strong, proud, and happy.

Happy Training Plan

2) Completing the final run of the training plan at a pace that will allow me a PR on Sunday. *Disclaimer* I am not trying to PR on Sunday. I am going to run with my friends and have fun. I am going to listen to my body so as to not reinjure my leg. If I get a PR out of the deal, that would be fantastic, but I’m not getting my hopes up.  (Side note: This exact race, last year, still holds my PR. So I may be thinking about it just a little bit.) I ran the first half of this run with Jess at a comfortable pace. Since she’s still healing she could only run 4, so I was left to my own devices for the second half. After convincing myself to finish the run (and not get in my car and drive home) I decided to throw in some speedy miles. It was hard, but surprisingly not too hard. I negative split the second half of this run by almost 5 minutes!

Final Cox Long Run

3) My dog. No matter what kind of day I had, she always cheers me up. I love having a dog – they truly are (wo)man’s best friend. (Super strange side not: When I typed the wo in parentheses Live Writer turned it into a suitcase? Strange.) Tonight was especially hilarious – she was so nutso when I got home. Running around with the most disgusting looking tennis ball I’ve ever seen, jumping, playing fetch with herself basically, while my parents dog just watched her from the deck.  sometimes I swear he thinks he’s babysitting her. And now, well, see for yourself:

Sleepy Lexi

She seems to be getting better since I wrote the other day that she was having some behavioral issues. She had basically thrown herself out of my bed a couple of weeks ago, but I put her blanky back up on my bed and brought her back in, and she’s happy. She’s a big time cuddlepuppy. When she can cuddle, she’s happy.

4) Quick, but effective, workouts. I’m pressed for time this week while getting ready to enjoy my mini stay-cation. I’ve got posts to set up (so I don’t leave you guys hanging while I’m unplugged – I’ve got some great guest posters lined up starting Friday!), I’ve got grown up crap to do (like make sure my bills are all paid, laundry, etc.), a hair cut on Thursday, you get the picture. Wicked busy, as always. So in order to save myself some time I decided I’d skip the gym this week; however, I’m not skipping working out. I created a great, fast, full body circuit that you can do at home when you’re pressed for time. All you need is a stability ball and a set of hand weights. I used 5 pounders – I don’t want to be too sore or worn out come race day! I did 3 total sets in 25 minutes (except I only managed 25 total push ups – those babies are HARD!) Stability Ball Circuit

Exercise Descriptions (Be sure the ball is supporting your upper back, neck, and head for all exercises that you’re laying on the ball. Raise your hips into a bridge position so your body is in a straight line from your shoulders to your knees):

Bench Press – traditional bench press, only laying on the ball.

Supine Tricep extension

Hammer Curl – Sitting on the ball. Engage your core, make sure your feet are on the floor and your legs form a 90 degree angle.

Push-up: Make sure the ball is directly under your shins. Engage your core, don’t round or arch your back.

Wall Squats

Ball “Roll-Ins” – Assume push up position on the ball. Bring your knees to your chest (rolling the ball in) and move back out to push up position. That’s one rep.

5) Another giveaway. What’s that you say? Oh yes, I told you guys I’d have a giveaway a day this week, right? Well it’s a freakin party around here! Today’s giveaway is brought to you by the wonderful people over at Perky Jerky. Have you had this stuff yet? I’ve tried both, I prefer the turkey, and OMG, it is the most tender pre-packaged jerky I have ever eaten in my life. I buy it all the time to snack on, and today, the folks at Perky Jerky are being kind enough to give away 5 bags each of the beef and the turkey!


They’re not kidding. Since I possess this bag of yumminess, and it’s taken every ounce of power in me to not devour all of the turkey jerky myself, this is going to be a 24-hour flash giveaway! This giveaway will end TOMORROW at 9:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.


1) Follow Running and Cupcakes (look to your right – where it says “Follow Me”) (Required)

2) Tell me if you won which flavor you’d prefer – Beef or Turkey (Required)

3) Tweet about the giveaway. However you’d like! Just make sure you copy me (@runcupcake) and Perky Jerky (@perkyjerky), and link back to this post:

Giveaway is open to all US and Canadian Residents.

This giveaway will have TWO winners.

Giveaway ends at 9:30 eastern standard time Tuesday, May 1, 2012.

Good luck! I hope everyone had an amazing Monday!


Rainy Days and Mondays

23 Apr

Aren’t going to get this girl down! I woke up this morning bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to hit the gym.

Okay that’s a lie. I snoozed my alarm until 5:30 and realized I better get up or I won’t get my entire session in, dragged my butt downstairs for some coffee, then got dressed and ready to hit the gym.

Bright Eyed Bushy Tailed


Once I was at the gym I was really ready and hit the weights with authority! I did Day 1 of my Upper Body Strength Workouts for the sixth week! I’m going up in a couple of weights again next week, but some exercises still have me at the same weights I started at. My shoulders are weak – but I think they’re coming around. I also threw in 60 crunches – some of my runner friends and I are doing a 100 pushup/100 crunch a day challenge, for 4 weeks. We’ll see if I can make it. Right now I’m at 50 pushups and 60 crunches for the day.

I no sooner stepped into the shower when I realized “Oh, shit, I forgot my bra and underwear.” No joke. While I bathed I thought of all possible scenarious – drive home to get my undergarments, go without them, go home and just stay home (that would’ve been the case if I went home – rainy, dreary, cold Monday is a recipe for the couch, tea, and soup, right?).

I could’ve been pissed off for being so forgetful, but instead, I laughed and was grateful my outfit would work with the missing underthings. You see, since the weather was crummy, I was wearing pants (rather than my typical skirt), and I had also brought a built-in bra tank top to wear under another top that was going under a caridgan.

Crisis averted. My coworkers were none the wiser. What would you have done?

*Side note: Around noon I received a package, which I promptly threw under my desk to take home and open later. What was in this package? Bras and underwear. Is anyone else laughing as hysterically as I am right now?*

The day almost panned out to be a typical work day – but then I got an e-mail from WordPress requesting me to approve a Pingback on a post. This post in particular.

And who was posting about this post? RUNNER’S WORLD! The post is called “Boston Race Reports from the Blogosphere.”

CAN YOU EVEN STAND IT? I’m stoked – I feel like a cool kid being mentioned by Runner’s World Magazine. I’m still in shock, excited, running around like a hyped up monkey.

Me, mentioned by Runner’s World. ME! Little ol’ Running and Cupcakes me. A year ago, when I started this blog, I never imagined cool things like this would happen. Smile

This post is wicked all over the place, hyper, crazy. I think I’m on a duck sauce sugar buzz from the Chinese food I had for dinner (talk about a mega craving, glad I satisfied that…).

And my final hyperactive spastic thing for tonight:

Giveaway Week Banner

That’s right – Giveaway WEEK. Starting next Sunday, on my one-year blogiversary, I will be hosting epic giveaways, thanks to some super generous brands. Brands that will remain a secret until their designated giveaway day!

There may even be a super duper bonus giveaway straight from yours truly.

You do NOT want to miss this!

It’s going to be a fun week over here in Running and Cupcake land – just as I start to rebuild my mileage, I’m going to have to start tapering (wah!).  I get to hang out with Coachy, Jess, Jo, and their boys, plus RI Jess, and one of my best high school friends and her husband. I’m going to be off the wall next week.

Be prepared. (Am I the only one that sings that, a la Lion King style?)

Okay that’s enough nuttiness for one night. I hope everyone had a fantabulous Monday!


Updates Galore

19 Apr

Well hello there! I have so much stuff not related to this past weekend to tell you guys! I’m going to jump right into it.

I’m making great strides with physical therapy. So much so that one of the PT Boys called me his “test monkey” today – as in, he wanted to see how my form reacted doing squats with the stability ball against a wall, with my hands interlaced behind my head. They love me there because I love to stretch – no matter how much I go “ooh, ow, ooh…” I still push harder and farther. With that being said, I’m down to possibly only one remaining visit. I talked to them about my running plans – 10 on Saturday, (hopefully) 4 on Tuesday, and 4 on Wednesday, with a return to the PT office on Thursday. He wants to evaluate me after my longest post-injury week. If all is well I’ll be released from care. They did say I’m welcome to come back, and if I continue to go once a month, my prescription from my doctor will stay good for a year. I may take them up on that. Why not right? Who doesn’t love heat and trigger point therapy?

I’m also making great strides with my runs. This past Saturday was the third Saturday in my half-marathon training cycle, and I had 8-miles on the agenda.

8 Mile

I set a goal of sub 10 minute miles. That’s a minute slower than a sub 2-hour half, which I am still working toward. I’m not saying I’m going to do that in Providence – whatever happens then, happens, I’m not striving toward anything in particular, but I do want to be training with purpose. Love the hills or what? Sheesh. I did stop 3 times on this run – once because I was overheating (the sun was STRONG because I procrastinated and ran mid-day), so I found shade and rested; once to refill my water and fuel up; and once because I didn’t turn where I thought I had turned and ended up with a big ol’ hill to climb (see that right around Mile 7? yeah that one). The pollen count is wicked high – combined with a slight loss of fitness from less running – and my lungs are feeling less than stellar.

Then yesterday I did this:

 Hilly Tempo

I did stop a couple times on this run too – pollen count/HILLS were kicking my butt! I pushed as hard as I could on that last hill trying to keep all of my miles in the 8’s, a 9:03 was all I had in me, but I’ll take it. 8:37 for a 4-miler? I’m pretty sure that’s a PR, especially on these hills. After all I am still going for quality over quantity in my runs.

I have 10 Miles on tap for Saturday and I have plans for 6 of those miles – but I’m not sharing those plans. It seems every time I share a time goal, I don’t get it. I’m jinxing myself, and adding way too much pressure, so time goal in my head only. I’ll tell you guys when it’s all said and done.

Next update is dietary – I’ve done really well with my new eating habits this week – eating LOTS of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and whole foods in general. No junk binges, actually not much junk at all. I ate dinner out Friday night (2 crab cakes and a small salad), brunch on Sunday (smoked salmon eggs benedict – which was phenomenal), and a Dunkin’ Donuts breakfast sandwich on Marathon Monday (what else do you do at 6 a.m. when you’re in a town you’re not familiar with, over an hour from home?). Other than that – the eating is going very well. Combined with three full dairy-free days, and my abs have decided to show themselves again.

Abs No Dairy

I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve ever shown my stomach on the blog. I am still working on them, but with the dietary changes I am very happy with what I see. And more importantly, how I feel. No bloating, no discomfort. My tummy is happy!

Final update – Sunday, April 29, is my one year blog-iversary. Time flies when you’re having fun.

Speaking of fun – I have got some SERIOUS fun in store for you guys for blog-iversary week. Stay tuned! (Lets just say it includes giveaways – lots of giveaways – you don’t want to miss this)

Hope you all had a great Thursday!

Anything new and exciting you’d like to share with me?


Sparkly Soul Headband Review and Giveaway (A Vlog!)

31 Jan

The winner of this giveaway will receive one thin sparkly headband and one wide sparkly headband!

Here’s how to enter this giveaway (yes I know I called it a contest in the video – but it isn’t a contest, just a simple giveaway!). For each entry please leave a separate comment. And, if you do not complete the required entry, your other comments will not be counted in the giveaway.

  1. (Required Entry) Go to the Sparkly Soul Website and tell me which two colors you would choose if you win.
  2. (Optional Entry) Tweet about the giveaway! “I want to win an @sparklysoulinc headband from @runcupcake http://wp.me/p25oLf-tC!
  3. (Optional Entry) Tell me what you would do to put your Sparkly Soul headband to the ultimate non-slip guarantee test!

It’s that simple ladies (and gents if you want to win one for your gals).

This contest will be open until Sunday, February 5th, at 12 p.m. EST. I will pick a winner using the Random.org number generator Monday morning, because there is no better way to start the week than with some sparkle!


If you don’t win, or are too impatient to wait until Monday, Sparkly Soul is offering a discount code from February 1 (THAT’S TOMORROW!) until March 1, 2012. Just enter “FitFluential” at checkout and receive 15% off your order!

*Sparkly Soul, Inc. provided me with two of their headbands to try, keep, and review. I was not compensated for this review otherwise. All opinions expressed here are my own.*

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