RunningSkirts(dot)Com Sub-Zero Review

After months of waiting to wear my RunningSkirts(dot)com Sub-Zero skirt, the weather finally turned cold enough to pull it from its packaging.

I have raved about Running Skirts compression socks (here) since testing them out a year ago, but unsure about proper sizing in the company’s skirts made me hesitant about ordering one (see sizing below). After receiving an email alert from Schwaggle with a link to the RS website giving an additional percentage off of a special list of merchandise, I took the plunge ordering the heartstooth patterned skirt attached to the full length brushed and wicking pant.


As I usually do before making online purchases, I read the reviews and pondered the size chart. Pant sizing is funny for me (skinny legs and not so skinny hips). According to the measurements listed, I would wear a size 3 (10-12), but since I am so rarely a 12, I wasn’t sure this was the best choice.

It turned out that the size 3 is perfect. I would recommend, actually, that if you are a larger size 12, going up to a size 4 might be better. Size eights would definitely want to buy the size 2.

Confused? I was, though it’s not their fault rather the nature of online shopping.


With a flat waistband and continuous drawcord (like Lululemon’s), there was no rubbing at the belly. Also interesting, and possibly a fit characteristic for my body type (apple-ish), the front waist fit a tad higher than the back. I loved this; always prefer a pant this sits a bit higher at the waist (it’s a different story for me when it comes to shorts).


The Sub-Zero is sold as a cold weather running skirt and performs as such. My legs didn’t feel a moment of wind or freeze after five miles in 37 degree temperatures. During my second run in much warmer weather (about 50 degrees), they still felt great; no overheating. When I run long, even in the coldest temperatures, I always (always) burn hot at my wrists and ankles. During my second run, I folded up the bottom portion of the leg and continued on, grateful that they weren’t super tight at the hem; they folded up easily.

More shopping?

Unhappy with the current quality on the newest LLL running tights (I swear the luxtreme is thinner) and more and more feeling the need to cover my rear (I am a 41-year-old grown woman after all), I am interested in trying some of the other skirts in the line.

Next on my list is the Capri Skirt. If it performs even close to the Sub-Zero, it could (quite possibly) be the perfect running bottom made.


Do you run in skirts? How about skirts? Do you shop there?

The skirts come in different patterns. I like the black and white ones as they can go with more colored tops.
The continuous drawcord. When pulled tighter the skirt stayed put. If you’ve ever gotten chafe from a tie at the wast then you know; ow.
The wide, flat waistband.
The logo on the side of the skirt. Barely noticeable.

Coola and Kiss My Face Sunscreen Review

A vacation is the best time to test drive new batch of sunscreens.

This week we’re trying Coola Mineral Baby in SPF 45, Kiss My Face Sun Spray Lotion SPF 30 and their Kids 100% natural Pink Sun Stick SPF 30.

The Coola was on the expensive side at $35.00 for three fluid ounces. It’s chemical free, 100% paraben free and thick like Crisco. The active ingredients are 10% titanium 7% zinc.

With that much protection (i.e. zinc) and due to its heavy nature, the stuff goes on white and stays that way. I’m using it on my face (and on the girls’ faces and shoulders). It’s protecting us great, but leaves me feeling like a living, breathing, walking grease ball. It’s the price I pay for serious coverage. I’ve yet to find a  chemical free brand that leaves me unbuttered, but I continue to test and try (Skinceuticals makes one similar and a bit less expensive, but with a similar texture and terrific protection).

I bought the Kiss My Face at Whole Foods the day before we left. I like the larger size and the spray top makes application really easy. It doesn’t go on thick (much more watery than the Coola), but I like that about it especially when it comes to re-application for the kids. I sprayed them right over the stuck on sand and it blended in great. I think I’ve found my newest family favorite, which is always exciting.

The Sun Stick is a cute idea and I bought the pink (they also make blue) knowing the girls would be into it. It’s a good thing to have in the beach bag and like I figured, the kids want to wear it. The only drawback is that the color isn’t brighter. Maybe I’ve been too bombarded with neon colors this season, but I wished the pale pink was more flourescent. I would streak it across my own nose and cheeks if it was!

What sunscreens do you swear by? 

Kiss My Face SPF 30 Lotion and Coola Mineral Baby SPF 45
Kiss Mt Face Pink Sun Stick SPF 30
Sophie all buttered up and wearing my hat by Mud Pie. $25.00 at Paper Buzz, Raleigh!

March Goodies – The Hunt For Basics

In the hunt for good basic tees I tweeted my search to the nice people who happen to be following me. My bloggy pal Christine over at Love Life Surf suggested I check out StyleMint, which was created by the ever stylish Olsen twins.

Out of curiosity and desperation I did, and what I found was not only great quality t-shirts, but (in my opinion) a brilliant business model, as well.

The company asks its users to begin by choosing from images that represent their own lives. Once your style type has been chosen you are guided to the showroom where tees of all different variations are modeled based on the image they’ve chosen for you.

All the tees are the same price ($29.99 with free shipping), which is not unreasonable when you compare them to other brands like James Perse or Splendid whose basics are closer to sixty.

Finally, once you’ve bought your first tee there is a recurring charge at the beginning of the month, which you can opt out of if you don’t love or need anything from the new batch that is uploaded. At first I was unsure about this, as I’m not a fan of recurring charges, but it’s the way it works and since you have some time to decide on a purchase (five days), it really isn’t a deal breaker.

The Camden T. 50% pima 50% micro modal.
The Broadway T. Almost sold out.
Prince T in White. 100%cotton.

As my search for great basics continued I came across a newer line created by Joie, called Soft Joie. Their pieces are on the pricier side (ranging from $80 to $150), but as any Internet shopping Queen can tell you, you don’t have to pay full price. Find what you love and check it daily. You might get lucky if it’s not sold out and be able to scoop up your favorites for much less.

Soft Joie Aida Ikat Tee.
Soft Joie Joaquin.
Soft Joie Ronan.

I mostly shop for my girls online for two reasons.

The first is that it’s almost impossible to leisurely carouse when they are hanging off of me or hiding under rounders. It’s patience grading and no fun.

Secondly, they are particular and won’t wear anything that they haven’t picked out themselves. This, I admit, may be the result of a mistake in my parenting.

When looking online I have often asked them what they liked and why. If they say, “Nay,” and I buy it anyway, they won’t wear it. Ever.

Hunting for good basic play clothes has become a challenge. If it’s not covered in ruffles with a skirt that spins, it ends up relegated to the bottom of their drawers.

A line called T2Love may become (fingers crossed) the line to bridge the gap. Their soft cotton essential pieces have girly flair with rugged playtime practicality.

t2 love girls striped side tie maxi skirt
Girls Stripe Side Tie Maxi
T2Love Floral Jersey Short
T2Love Floral Jersey Short
T2Love Floral Lace Tank
T2Love Floral Lace Tank. I love this print!

Happy shopping!

February Gear and Goodies

As happened last month, I didn’t manage to compile a new list of goodies until the first day of the next one.

Here are a few recent finds and some older goodies that are pretty enough to be posted!

1. The Cambridge Satchel Company

These bags made in England come in delicious colors and sizes and can be carried by just about anyone; boys and girls.

I favor The Metallic and The Flouro, but one could never go wrong with The Classic. What’s really fun is the monogrammed embossing that can only be done if purchased from the website in the U.K.

I say, “Spend the extra money on shipping and get a bag that’s just for you!”

The Flouro
The Classic in red

2. Swedish Hasbeens and Ugglebo.

I’ve been a fan of clogs since my first pair in the seventies. In the Fall, my girls fell in love with a pair of bright pink patent leather Dansko’s. The price tag was steep, but the sight of them marching around was enough for me to hand over the card and relive my own childhood clunking. I wonder if my kids will remember their first clogs, the way I remember mine.

I’m thinking a pair for me should be added to the Spring shopping wish list. Here are a few ideas.

Swedish Hasbeens 60's Slingback
Ugglebo made for Hannah Anderson. They also come in metallic silver that can go with most of my mommy clothes, but I think the yellow could act as a neutral too.

3. Karen Walker is a designer from New Zealand who makes a really fantastic women’s collection. I love good fabric and great prints and could see myself in just about any of her day dresses. I’m currently coveting her houndstooth, which is bigger and zig-zaggier than an old school men’s traditional one.

Her sunglasses are fantastic, too; whimsical and weird. Love her stuff!

Karen Walker Oversized Tee Blue Houndstooth. Her navy is brilliant too.
Karen Walker Patsy Sunglasses; these sold at Saks.
Karen Walker Number One-Tortoise.

About twice a year I get an urge to sew. This results in a visit to one of my favorite fabric stores where I touch everything and load up while letting my imagination fly free. The problem is that there is never enough time to make all that I dream, not to mention my sewing machine tends to go on strike three-fourths of the way through any given project. Aunt Nor’s unfinished Thanksgiving apron is proof (she still wore it, since it was made with love).

Even so, I continue to collect and fold my neatly stacked finds in the sewing room for when the bell tolls.

4. Two of my favorites fabric designers are  Anna Maria Horner and Amy Butler. Technically these are quilting fabrics, but they really could be made into just about anything ready to wear.

Anna Maria Horner Voile. Gorgeous, airy and soft. Would make great pajamas!
Amy Butler. I bought this thinking I'd use it to make a tunic for myself, but now I don't know. A short shift for Summer that could be worn alone or with jeans?

I couldn’t wrap up a goodies list without something running gear related. A like minded blogger over at Poppy’s Style did a great review of these Adidas tights. I’ve been thinking about them ever since.

A part of me loves them, possibly because they are awfully similar to a pair of ski pants I wore in 1989. The ski pants were more colorful, like graffiti artists had their way with me, but these have the same flair. As Cameron Diaz (@ about 49 seconds) said at the Oscars, sometimes you’ve got to, “Take a chance, everybody!”

5. Adidas TECHFIT 3/4 Zebra Tight

image: adidas TECHFIT Zebra Three-Quarter Tights X41172
The pink Zebra colorway. Crazy, right?

Girls in Glasses

Sun glasses can’t make you run faster, but they can benefit a runner in other ways.

Not only do they protect against UV rays, they act as a guard to the elements and shield ones emotions from the people driving by. They are my protection from the big wide world while I’m out there exposed; the only guard I have when running all alone.

My Keanon’s have proven to be a good addition to the gear goodies. They don’t look like typical running glasses, like those Oakley’s, all narrow and alien shaped. They are big and square with polarized lenses to reduce the glare. The best part is that they haven’t fogged up; a killer to a fun run on a pretty sunny day.

If you aren’t running in glasses, you should be.

Note to self... clean the bathroom mirror and get a better lightbulb!

What’s Old is New Again

I felt motivated enough to get dressed today after my eight (that turned into nine) mile run. At pick-up, lots of other mom’s must have had the same sense as I, the weather is practically Spring-like and it was a great day to make the effort.

When I do get dressed, it’s basically this pair of Genetic’s or that, which is fine, but getting tired. Such boredom leads to Internet surfing where I came across these Joe’s for Spring and a bevy of other printed denim skinnies.

Apparently what was old is new again, because I owned and wore these pants twenty-nine years ago in the eighth grade. Mine were made by Guess and the leopard pattern was in different shades of blue. They also had zippers at the ankles, which seemed very new circa 1983. How I loved those pants!

Joe's Jeans High Water in Leopard $165.00

I’m not sure if I could wear these again or if even I should?

Would I?

Do I dare?

The temptation is almost too much.


Current/Elliot's Neon Leopard $246
Siwy Abbeylee Zip Crop in Meow $195.00. Sophie likes these the best!
AG's Stilt in Tie Dye Dusty Pink $176.00. Grace's pick. If you knew her you wouldn't be surprised.

Girl On Fire Nails

I was talking to Sophie about painting my nails bright pink with red flames for the race, as an homage to Katniss (Girl on Fire) from the Hunger Games; both as inspiration to keep me going and as a “thank you” for helping me through so many long runs.

These are much prettier than what I imagined…. love them!


Our Valentine edition continues – today we wanted to try a nail art design that wasn’t all about flowers and heart, but something that can be done in any colour and still look great all year around. The gobstopper nail, or the layered ruffian is our latest favourite. This design looks great ombred so we used a v-day palette to go with our theme.

Step 1: After applying a base coat, paint nail with Sally Hansen – Presto Pink. This colour is a perfect pop of pink to begin our look that won’t get lost with the addition of different shades.

Step 2: Using American Apparel – Angeline, a deeper hot pink, paint a ruffian design over your base colour. Start at the far side of the nail and try to drag the polish in one swift motion to the opposite side  – this helps create a perfectly curved line. We used the…

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Gear Goodies for January

I have been lamenting the fact that I’ve turned into one of those moms who pick their kids up from school in sweat pants, wet hair up in a pony bun, and Ugg boots. It’s tragic actually, much worse than moms in mommy clothes; leggings, flats, and cute tunic sweaters. At least they are put together.

The hours when the children are in the care of their teachers are spent running. Once back home, there’s only time to shower quickly and throw on something before racing out the door again to return to the germ factory known as The Three’s Room.

Maybe it would be better to pick them up in my gear? I do love my gear, but I like being clean much more. Not to mention it’s a health issue, as wet running pants (no matter how wicky) are not good for girlie parts.

Here are some of my recent favorites:

Lululemon Switch Back Pullover. I was almost as excited about seeing Indigo Blue in the stores as I was seeing Paris Pink.
Yogitoes Lululemon Towel. I've needed a towel for a while, but my Manduka is a deep red and the indigo inkblot would be perfect. It sounds crazy, but I've been looking for a towel that wouldn't clash with my mat for better Om's!
Aspaeris Pivot Shorts. They look like bike shorts, but are actually two pairs fused together with the inner short being all about compression. They are made specifically for women and have been raved about on a bunch of blogs! I think this picture is cute and I like the red, but don't think I'm brave enough to pull them off. My bloggy friend Kathy at was brave enough, and looks adorable in her red ones too!
Under Armour Boy Short. I have these in bright pink. They don't cause wedgie issues like a lot of underpants I've run in.
Kaenon Zaza glasses. My beloved Zeal Optics (Orbs) are tired and need to be replaced. I love these Kaenon's but can't decide on the black or the tortoise. Thoughts?
Foam Roller. I need one. Everyone raves about them.
black compression socks
Running Skirts Compression Socks. I've worn these on my last two long runs, under my tights for added warmth. I can't say enough great things about them. They are pricey, but so worth it. I especially like that they are taller than my Zensahs, which have been demoted to strictly recovery wear.
Sennheiser/adidas® PMX 680. I bought these in March and have loved them! I'm not sure what happened, but they stopped working and I've been suffering with my iPhone ear buds, which are truly awful. I considered Yurbuds, but really liked having a neck holder so the buds don't fall out. I think I'm going to just replace the Sennheiser and hope the next pair last.

Happy Running!

Ellie Goulding

There’s no accounting for good taste in music.

I just returned from dropping off the hooligans and my darling Brian, who hadn’t yet left for work, wanted me to guess what he was listening to on his iPhone.

The noise was loud, too loud, and when he went to get his shoes I turned it down.

“You don’t know who this is?” he asked.

“It’s Supertramp! My work out music!”

He played something else and I didn’t recognize it either.

“Survivor!” He was all pumped up.

I realize that music speaks to people differently. I hardly ever look at the blogs where people post their playlists, because unless it’s something I’ve already heard, it’s hard for me to connect to or make a judgement about.

A few nights ago I switched to MTVU where I discovered Ellie Goulding. Apparently I am late on the Ellie Goulding bandwagon, because she was nominated for the British Critics’ Choice award way back in 2009, a year after Adele had one won.

I googled her and as it turns out, she is a runner too! She even has a running mix available on iTunes; a 30 minute compilation of her cd Lights, which was released in 2010. I love love love her! She speaks to me on a lot of levels; poetic, rhythmic, danceable, creativity in action.

Listen and enjoy! But if you can’t enjoy I completely understand! One man’s Survivor is another girl’s Ellie.

I’m partial to this one called The Writer.