Disclosure: A product in this post was sent to me free of charge.  All opinions are my own.  This post contains an affiliate link.

Working outside in the winter is brutal. As a mailman, I used to spend up to 10 hours a day — into the dark — trudging through snow and slush. I might also have to deal with wind and rain in the same day. The problem isn’t just about staying dry and warm; it’s about staying cool enough that you don’t get drenched in sweat. Because that is what does-you-in mentally. Once you are both sweaty and cold, there doesn’t seem to be any getting back to normal that day and all you can seem to think about is sitting back in a spa and soaking in some 120-degree-plus water.

The heavy-weight Refrigiwear fleece

There’s a Norwegian saying, “there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.”

 

 

I don’t spend as much time outside now, thank goodness. I do plan to to start run this winter, which means being outside in the rain and snow and wind and general miserableness. I don’t feel like shelling out the major cash that I would spend on most name-brand running clothing. I grudgingly pay the price for Brooks Adrenalines. I’m not spending $100 on a jacket that I’m probably stripping off and tying around my waist after ten minutes, anyway. Athletic clothing has come a long way since my teen years when I ran through Southwestern Michigan’s winters wearing cotton sweatshirts and sweatpants from Max-10. Yes, I’ve always been cheap. Back then, I wore a layer of Vaseline on my lips. That was before you could find good balaclavas. This winter, I’m prepared with Refrigiwear fleece.

Refigiwear doesn’t make running clothes. They make working clothes. The guys out working on roads when it’s 30 degrees? They may be wearing Refigiwear clothes to keep them warm. Some of their stuff is the neon green seen on road workers and has the reflective cloth that has to have saved some lives. When you are buying work wear instead of athletic wear, you get the same level of insulation and similar wicking fabric. That means the clothes are heavier — some would be too clunky even for trail running. Carhartt clothing is great for hunting and chopping wood, but it would be a little hard to run in a pair of their overalls. I’ve tried skiing in them before and I thought I’d die from heat exhaustion and from carrying the extra weight of all that denim.

There are some advantages of winter work wear over the soft-as-bunny’s-bottom insulation layers that athletic companies use.

 

— There are some advantages to workwear for outdoor sports —

Durability

The Refrigiwear’s heavy-weight fleece doesn’t have the loft of most 200-weight fleece, but they say it has the same heat retention as 300-weight. The more compact (weave if it were made of a thread-based fabric) is less susceptible to wear because it’s more condensed.

The sizing of most work wear seems to be a bit broader than you might be used to with general clothing.  While I’m a large in many shirts and coats, I need an extra-large in coats designed for athletic wear. When I got an extra-large heavy-weight Refrigiwear fleece, however; it had about six extra inches across the chest. I called and, within a day, had a return label in order to exchange for a large.

Price

My Refrigiwear fleece cost about half of what a North Face 300-weight fleece would cost. Granted, the North Face is fashionable right now (at least I think it is. I’m not the guy to go to about fashion, obviously). Until Refrigiwear’s little logo — a dog inside a triangle — is caught on the nape of some Hollywood star’s neck, you won’t turn too many heads with their products. Having said that, I’m in negotiations with my wife to buy one of their rain coats which do look pretty cool (to me).

Fortunately, it’s easier to outfit my daughter at Goodwill. While it is hard to find men’s outerwear at thrift shops that is both clean and rip-free, my little girl can still find some nice running clothes that look like they were never worn.

Now that we’re outfitted comes the hard part… getting off this couch.

 

Cliff: An accomplished author, in that I drink a lot of coffee, look at obscure websites, own a copy of Microsoft Word and know what an Oxford comma is. Hobbies include mocking Ab Lounger ads on Craigslist and napping. Former Marine, mail carrier and dental chair technician, now I spend my days trying to live up to my wife and dog\'s expectations of me and show my kids how to live life well.

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample from Pet Treater for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product. This post contains affiliate links.

pettreater

I recently received the September Pet Treater box and I’m excited to share it with you!  The theme of this month’s box is, “Ain’t Nothin but a Hound Dog”.  I’m a big fan of Elvis so it was right up my alley!

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As always, our box contained a letter addressed to our dog, Lucy.  It talked about the theme for the month and was “signed”, Elvis, who happens to be a Pet Treater customer.

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The first item we noticed was the toy peanut butter and banana sandwich.

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It’s well know that Elvis loved PB & banana sandwiches so I thought this was really cute! It’s two pieces that velcro together.

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Our dogs loved it and even played tug of war with it.

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The kids love giving the dogs treats so they are always excited to see what yummy surprises come in the monthly boxes. The first item was a fun guitar cookie treat.

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This goes perfectly with the Elvis theme!

We also received the Romp ‘n Chomp with treat refills.

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We’ve used these before and the dogs love them.  It gives them something to do and they get a sweet treat as well.

At first glance, the Cheesecake Mix for dogs and the S’mores Flavor Sandwich Cookies look like they are for us humans.  It took some convincing with the kids for them not to eat them!

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My 13-year old love to cook so he was excited about this Cheesecake Mix.  It was really easy to make and requires no baking.

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Lucy and Zoe loved it!  Here they are watching my son make it and then waiting for their slices.

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The last doggie item was this Furimals Warming and Cooling Pet Mat.

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The insert can be put in the microwave  for heat or the freezer for cooling.  We got several below zero days last winter so this will be really nice to put in the dogs’ beds when the cold temps set in.  The outer shell is super soft and I can even see us using it for ourselves as well!

Every Pet Treater box contains a “human treat”.  This month it was this Elvis Lives, Love Me Tender candle.  Anyone who knows me, knows I love candles.  I even make wax melts myself so I was thrilled with this great smelling candle!

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So here’s the breakdown (all prices taken from Amazon):

Toy Sandwich: $13.03

Guitar Treat: $2.49 for similar one

Heating and Cooling Pad: $15.99

Romp’n Chomp: $6.62

Romp’n Chomp Refill: $7

Cheesecake Mix: $7.99

S’mores Sandwich Cookies: $4.85

Elvis Candle: $9.50

Total: $67.47!!

A month to month auto shipment is only $24.99 so that’s a huge savings! If you go with a 3, 6, or 12 month subscription, it’s even cheaper ($19.99 for the 12 month!). To get more info or sign up for a subscription, head over to PetTreater.com. There are a few available coupon codes right now.

LOVE-PT5 gets you $5 off your first box

FREE-PTBED gets you a free pet bed with your first box

PT-ICECREAM (while supplies last) to receive a free ice cream treat with your first box

These codes are only valid on 3, 6, and 12 month plans. They are not stackable and you must choose one or the other. Make sure to connect with Pet Treater on Facebook and Twitter to see deals and special offers!

 

 

 

 

 

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.

 

Our kids have always loved playing outside. They love to play on our swing set, explore the woods, climb trees, make tree forts, ride bikes, rollerblade and more. We love it! We encourage them to be outside playing as often as they can. But with this fun play, comes lots of messes. LOTS of messes.

For example, here in Michigan, we’d had a bit of a dry spell. Not exactly a drought, but enough dryness that farmers were worried. Then the rain finally came! A nice, loud, hard summer thunderstorm. Our kids wanted to go outside to play the next day and asked if they could splash in some puddles…this was the result.

#WishIHadaWetOnes #ad

 

 

For muddy moments like this, we turn to Wet Ones®.

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They are America’s #1 Hand Wipe*. They are Wet Ones® Canisters,  Wet Ones® Singles and Wet Ones® Travel packs. My personal favorite are the travel packs! We take these with us when we visit amusement parks, state parks or public restrooms.

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They are especially wonderful after a visit to a dreaded porta-potty. Wet Ones® kill 99.9% of germs and yet are still gentle on your skin.

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They are also great to use when your kids have gone splashing in rain puddles. LOL! We let the kids use some Wet Ones® to clean their hands and feet before coming into the house.

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Then they were able to take a baths or shower. Oh, do you like camping? Grab a canister of Wet Ones® and it’s super easy to make sure everyone has clean hands before eating around the campfire.

Wet Ones® is having a fun contest right now that I encourage you to enter. It is called Messiest Kid in America. Entering is easy and fun! Simply post a picture of your kiddo ages 2-17 at their messiest and use the hashtags #WishIHadAWetOnes and #Contest. Or you can simply go online to www.wishihadawetones.com and upload a photo. The Grand Prize winner will get $5,000 and a year’s supply of Wet Ones® and 5 first place winners will each get a $2,500 prepaid Visa® Card!

Comment with your kids’ messiest story and let me know I am not alone in having kids who love getting messy!

 

*#1 claim based on scan data for 52 weeks ending 1/23/16

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

pandplogo

Peaches and Petals in a monthly subscription service that delivers beauty/lifestyle boxes each month right to your door.  My May box arrived this week and now I get to share it with you all!  The theme of this month’s box is “Let’s Get Together”.  It contained an assortment of party themed items.

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The chalkboard kits are really neat!  The pennants are reversible so I can display the patterned side or use the chalkboard side to customize them.  It also comes with chalkboard circles that can be applied to the patterned side as well.  Twine is included too for easy hanging.  The arrows can written on or you can use the enclosed pre-designed rub on words.

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These paper medallions require some assembly but it’s pretty easy.  I think my kids would have fun making them and they’s add some fun color to the party scene.  They could also be hung in a child’s room for fun decor!

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The party tasting spoon set comes with a 10″ plate and 5 tasting spoons.  This is a nice quality set that would be good for small get togethers or a date night at home.  The little spoon dishes would also be good for holding different types of sauces.

I was excited to find the melamine cutting board.  I love the pattern on it and we actually need a new one.  It’s the perfect size for cutting up an onion or chopping celery.

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My kids thought these straws were cool.  The designs and sayings on the straws are cute and I can see putting these out at our next summer BBQ.  My kids also thought the napkins were hilarious!

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I think my favorite addition to the May box was the Charades in a Box.  Unfortunately, the 70’s era is a little to old for my kids to participate but my hubby and I think it’s super fun!

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So here’s the value breakdown (all prices come from Amazon unless otherwise noted):

Party Tasting Set- $10.14 (based on similar set from same manufacturer)

Cutting Board-$6.49 for similar one

Cocktail Napkins- $6.99

Paper Medallions- I was unable to find these online but I’d estimate their value at about $7

Chalkboard Pennant Banner- $9.40

Chalkboard Arrows- $8.33

Charades in a Box- $5

Party Straws- $6.99 for similar ones

That’s a total value of $60.34.  That’s much higher than the price of $19.95!  I’m looking forward to hopefully using my items at a fun cookout next month!  And I’m really looking forward to next month’s box which is themed “Under the “Boardwalk”.

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If you’d like to sign up for Peaches and Petals, make sure to try one of the following discount codes:
codes

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

When most people think of sunscreen, they think summertime, hot weather, pools and beaches. Our habit of reaching for a bottle of sunscreen can fall by the wayside when it’s cold and/or snowy outside. However, the sun emits harmful UV rays year-round and snow can increase the need for sunscreen because it reflect the sun’s rays.  Just ask someone who’s been on the ski slopes all day with no sun protection!  While we associate summer as the time when we are at the highest risk for sun damage and skin cancer, the earth is actually closest to the sun in the winter and the ozone layer, which absorbs UVB rays, is at its thinnest in the winter.  It’s also important to wear sunscreen on cloudy days since about 80 percent of rays pass through clouds.

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We’ve been having a pretty mild winter so far.  While the kids are dying for some snow, I will say the weather has allowed them a lot of outside time.

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I admit it can be easy to forget to put sunscreen on the kiddos when they are also grabbing coats but I really try to stay in the habit.  I find that if we make it part of our daily routine, just as they brush their teeth every morning, we are less likely to forget.  My kids health and safety is my number one priority  and I want to do everything in my power to protect their precious skin.  I had a skin cancer scare myself when I was pregnant with my youngest son.  Thankfully, it wasn’t cancer but I now have a nasty 2 inch scar on my shoulder that serves as a daily reminder to be vigilant about sun protection.

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen is our go to choice for sun protection all year long. Blue Lizard Sunscreen originated in Australia, where standards for sunscreen are the highest in the world.
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The cap on the bottle turns blue in the sun, offering a great reminder that it’s time to apply sunscreen!

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Blue Lizard is now manufactured in the U.S. but they still adhere to those strict standards to offer the most advanced formulations available in sun protection. They use only the highest quality ingredients and their sunscreens deliver clinically proven, full spectrum UVA and UVB protection in a mineral-based, water-resistant, SPF 30+ formulation.  They offer safe sunscreen for even the youngest members of the family with their Baby formula.  They also offer Sport, Sensitive & Regular formulas which along with the baby formula are now available by the gallon).  Blue Lizard is doctor, dermatologist, and pharmacist recommended and I completely trust it to protect my family’s skin!

Make sure to keep your family safe all year long by applying sunscreen every time you go outside.  Your skin will thank you!  You can learn more about Blue Lizard sunscreen as well as purchase it at bluelizard.net.  Mudpies and Tiaras readers can save 20% OFF orders over $35 by using the code P20MUDPIES.  This offer is good through 9/30/16.

One lucky reader will win a prize pack from Blue Lizard worth $67!  It includes 5oz Sensitive, 5oz Face, 3oz Baby, 3oz Sport, 2 Baby sachets and 2 Color-change UV sensitive bracelets.

 

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda