Gear Review and Giveaway: Stonewear Designs (apparel for active women)

Giveaway Closed.  Congratulations to commenter number 3 for winning the headband! 

I’m not a world-renowned athlete and I’ve never led an exhilarating expedition to worlds unknown.  My ab muscles are strong but are by no means toned enough to resemble a six-pack.  I’m training for a half-marathon–words that I never imagined would fall from my lips. I don’t look like a supermodel and my curves sometimes annoy me.  But I’m proud of my body and all that it has allowed me to accomplish.

I believe fiercely that adventure and outdoor exploration are for all.  I strive to stay active, push my limits, try new things and inspire others to do the same. Staying active and fit are high on my priority list. I use all of my resources to not only help my son with special needs thrive outdoors, but to show others that adventure and the natural world are within everyone’s grasp. I believe in the power of nature to sooth the soul and nourish the body and mind.  I believe that everyone can benefit from being active outdoors.  And I don’t think that you must have the perfect body to do so.

That’s why I was so delighted to become a member of the Stonewear Designs Grassroots Team.  Stonewear clothing is designed to fit every type of body.  They empower women of all shapes and sizes to be active while stylishly supported.  So today, I thought I would share with you about some of my favorite Stonewear outfits that I was provided to test and use in my daily activities.  And I’ll be honest….I pretty much live in my Stonewear clothing now. It makes me feel beautiful, strong and comfortable all day long.  Their clothing is of very high quality (so it will last without showing wear) and is specifically designed to be tough enough to keep up with an active lifestyle.  

Lyra Top + Rockin’ Capri:

The Lyra Top is made of a very breathable, moisture-wicking fabric that keeps you cool and dry while hiking, running, kayaking, climbing or just wrangling kids.  This is my go to top for all of my activities.  Not only does it keep me cool and dry down here in the hot and humid southeast, but the support is phenomenal.  The Lyra Top has a built-in bra that keeps the girls nicely in place.  I sometimes pair this top with Stonewear’s cross back sports bra to give myself the maximum amount of support possible because I really like to keep everything in place 🙂  But the top alone provides great support.  The fit is extremely flattering as well.  The fabric skims the body and flatters without being clingy  (which is great if you are like me and your midsection is a little soft and round!)  If you are an active woman who is a bit heavy on top, then the Lyra Top is definitely for you.

The Rockin’ Capris (also referred to by me as the most awesome pair of capris to ever grace my legs) are the best thing that has ever happened to me from a clothing standpoint.  These flattering, moisture-wicking capris feel great, look great and hold up to creek crossings, muddy hikes, kayaking trips and hot trail runs. They also have a side zip pocket that is large enough to store a smart phone or keys. I practically live in these capris (as well as the pant version.)  Wash after wash these babies still look like new.  The Rockin’ Capris are the most rugged and beautifully constructed capris/pants I’ve ever owned.  They are certainly worth every penny.  I cannot stress enough how awesome these are!!  I will never hike in anything else again….seriously….they are that good.

Keep a lookout for an upcoming review of my other faves–the Olympia Top, Rockin’ Pants, Double Cross Back Top and Meridian Capris….

Want to see what other real women have to say about Stonewear Designs?  Check out this fabulous post that shows women of all shapes and sizes sharing their favorite pieces of clothing!

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Now, who wants to win a little something from Stonewear Designs? Enter to win a headband, here’s how:

1. Visit the Stonewear Designs website and take a look around, then come back and leave a comment below telling me what piece of clothing you think would be great to try and why.

2. For an extra, additional entry, you can like Stonewear Designs on Facebook.  Then come back here and leave a separate comment telling me you did so.

3. For one more extra entry, you can like Hike.Blog.Love on Facebook (or tell me you already are a fan) and come back here and leave another comment.

That’s it!  Good luck, ladies (and men who would like to win some swag for their lady.)  The giveaway closes on Friday October 5th. The winner will recieve a headband in a random color.

Some of the Stonewear clothing shown in this post was provided to me free of charge as a member of the Grassroots Team.  Some clothing was purchased with my own money because I love the clothing so darn much.  All opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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Going under

I’m in Chattanooga this week visiting family.  It seems our drought has been broken down here in the South after three solid days of downpours and thunderstorms.  The rain has been steady, so we’ve had to get creative in order to keep all the kids sane! So what do you do when it’s pouring down rain?  Head underground, of course.

Today we visited a beautiful cave that the hubby and I used to explore in our pre-kid days.  We just took the half hour walking tour, but I think I’m going to take my boys back soon for a muddier, wilder adventure.

The kids had a blast seeing all the formations and even spotting a cave salamander.  I snapped a few pics, but be warned that iphones + dark caves don’t mix 😉  Luckily, this part of the cave is outfitted with lights to help visitors view the stunning formations.  Stay tuned, I feel a wild and muddy cave excursion coming soon…

the boys with three of their cousins inside the cave

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Like Adventure?

Well I’ve got three of them for you! My latest post on the Civilized Travel site shares my 3 favorite off the beaten path adventures and tells you how you can explore these spectacular places, too.

See how this…

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+

this…

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+

this…

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add up to one big adventure in the southeastern US. What are you waiting for? Go check it out and then join me the next time we venture out into the wild!

My Mother’s Day Gift: a Muddy Cave Adventure

On Sunday the weather was rainy, so we decided to spend most of the day trekking through a gorgeous cave.

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The boys did awesome hiking and climbing over the tough terrain. We managed to get to the back part of the cave to find the hidden creek and cascading waterfalls. The boys were so excited! The picture below doesn’t do it justice, but it’s the best we could do with the limited amount of lighting we had.

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After we finished exploring the cave, we hiked in the rain to a nearby waterfall. I don’t know what it is, but I love hiking in the rain! Weird, huh?

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Best.Mother’s.Day.Eva.

Favorite Photo(s) Friday

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Hubby snapped this picture of me sitting on a huge pile of rocks at the entrance to a cave we were exploring.  A roughly 1 mile hike into the cave led to a gorgeous waterfall:

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{OK, so remember, the cave is completely dark inside, so we had to shine every light we had just to get a picture (flash does nothing in this setting) so the quality is a little low, but it was beautiful!}

I really need to do a real post on this particular cave trip…it was a good one.  Ah, I need some motivation to go back and post pictures from the last several years!

Also, don’t forget to enter my GIVEAWAY!

Caves Close to Prevent Bat Disease

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Cavers may have to find some new spots for their sport, all to protect bats. Tennessee Wildlife officials have closed all caves located on their land for a year to help prevent the spread of a disease killing off bats.  A white fungus called white nose syndrome is killing off bats across the United States.  While it isn’t harmful to humans, state wildlife officials are closing off public access to caves where bats hibernate to help keep it from spreading.

full article can be found here

Catching up Wednesday: Tumbling Rock Cave, AL

I thought I would make a goal of uploading one “old trip” every Wednesday.  I’ve got a lot of catching up to do!

These pictures are from one of my favorite caves, Tumbling Rock Cave in Alabama, circa summer 2006.

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{admiring the waterfall formation}

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{Christmas tree formation…and yep, we used this on our Christmas cards that year, lol}

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{up, up…}

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{…and away}

This is a fun cave to explore and I can’t wait until the little River monster is old enough to go.