Fashion Friday (Saturday) Story

I apologize for the late nature of this post, Friends, but I just returned from a recharge in Portland this afternoon and couldn’t wait to open a package that awaited my return. Cents of Style has done it again; they’ve provided me with the choice of one of their best-selling products…their Be Series graphic t-shirts.

I had zero difficulty choosing the right tee for me! Readers, if you’ve been following me for a while, you know since my weight loss transformation began, there is nothing more I’ve wanted out of life than this…

It is my life’s goal to be happy, so this shirt literally fits me to a T…there is nothing I’d rather be! Happiness is the result of slowing down to appreciate the simple pleasures like treasured time with family and friends, a rejuvenating walk in the woods, taking time to do what’s calling within my heart.

Yes, this tee is who I want to be, but you might want to be something else, and Cents of Style has you covered too! How about one of these…


Friends, Cents of Style has made it comfortable and fun to be exactly who you are. This weekend only, using the code BESTORY, you can get each of these fresh, fun t-shirts here for only $15.95 with Free Shipping!

While you’re there, take a look around at their wide array of the latest in trendy clothes, shoes, scarves and jewelry, all at affordable prices.

I especially love this store for its mission: To empower women to lead bold and full lives. We believe that if you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good you can do good for others around you.

I LOVE that!

I hope you take advantage of this sweet opportunity to be uniquely you. But remember, this Fashion Friday deal is only available thru 4/30, so don’t miss out and don’t forget Mother’s Day is coming up too!

Aurorae Review

Friends, I recently received some yoga products generously provided by Aurorae for a test drive and review. This family business was founded in 2009 by yogi/cancer survivor, Dennis Ingui. I love that what began as a hobby has transformed into a business to empower others to embrace an active lifestyle. You can read more about that inspiring journey here.

I’ve previously reviewed one of Aurorae’s yoga mats, totes and towels here. That mat continues to impress and protect…it is one of the few I don’t fear skidding off through my downward dog. I can not say enough wonderful things; it’s plain to see high quality is of the utmost importance to this company. It’s also obvious they understand and aim to meet the needs of yoga students everywhere!

Take, for instance, this organic mat cleaner. Not only is it eco-friendly, it is available in four scents, made in the USA with pure essential oils. I don’t think I know a single yoga friend who doesn’t adore essential oils! What’s better, with the purchase of any mat cleaner comes the free bonus of a plush microfiber cleaning towel. I received the eucalyptus scented wash with towel. Not only do these make quick work of wiping down my mat, it leaves it smelling fresh and me calmed by that relaxing scent…ahhh.


I also got to play with Aurorae’s yoga strap. It’s 8 foot length is generous enough for any task you need it to perform. The strap is a bit narrower those I’ve used in studios, but I’ve noticed no difference in its abilities. I like knowing it’s constructed with 100% natural unbleached cotton and again…made in the USA! This strap is helping me get far deeper into some of my poses.


Finally, get a look at this unique sling backpack! I had my doubts that it would fit my needs. When I head to the athletic club for yoga, I also tend to sneak in some major cardio before class. So after shavasana, it’s time to hit the showers. This means the need to store extra clothing and toiletries in addition to mat, accessories and water bottle. The moment I saw how small this bag appeared, I thought there was no way my belongings would fit within. Boy, was I mistaken! I could have easily fit another change of clothes in there and probably my flip flops too.

The bag is a warrior…well designed and constructed with so many cool features, it’s obvious much thought went into its design. That’s awesome, but what I really love about it is how well it hugs me with that wide, comfy shoulder strap…from this pic, you’d hardly even know I had it on!

Probably my favorite feature of this bag is its multipurpose nature…I can use it for yoga, other workouts, biking, hikes, travel and beyond…how cool is that?!? I think its versatility is genius.

If you are looking for some products to further your love of your practice, don’t miss Aurorae. Stop by their website today to check out these great products and so much more!

To my fine friends at Aurorae, many thanks for this opportunity, and as always…NAMASTE!


Fashion Friday

Happy Fashion Friday, Friends, I’m excited to share my latest dicovery with you! Since my weight loss transformation, I’ve struggled to find comfortable, versatile clothing I feel confident wearing. I’m just now beginning to enjoy shopping again, but was still having difficulty finding a flattering fit. That all changed when Cents of Style sent me this Hannah Keyhole Tunic to test drive and share with all of you.

How cute is that?!?

This tunic has versatility written all over it! I’ve only had it a week, but in that time it has stylishly taken me from church, to the grocery store, between classes and workouts at the gym and even through an online interview.

All the while, I enjoyed the sleek fit of its super-soft rayon/spandex blend and its pajama-like comfort. I am kind of in love with it!

I went with black because it coordinates so well with everything! But these tunics are available in an array of delectable colors…

And if the keyhole design is not your thing, check out this sassy babydoll style.

It also comes in an exquisite palate of color choices.

Both tunic styles are two of this spring’s hottest trends and are available to fit sizes 0-18…that’s great news!

But Friends, the best news is this…Cents of Style normally offers these tunics for a modest $34.95 but are offering them this weekend for the fantastic price of $19.95 + FREE SHIPPING using the code: TOPSTORY when you shop here.

While you’re there, take a look around at their wide array of the latest in trendy clothes, shoes, scarves and jewelry, all at affordable prices.

I especially love this store for its mission: To empower women to lead bold and full lives. We believe that if you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good you can do good for others around you.


I hope you take advantage of such a sweet opportunity, but remember, this Fashion Friday deal is only available thru 3/26. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some shopping to do!


OOFOS OOlala Sandal Review

Friends, I couldn’t be more excited about sharing with you something that arrived in my mail recently.

My friends at OOFOS provided me with a pair of their amazing recovery technology for feet in one of their amazing new colors! Although it may seem ironic these arrived while snow still blankets much of Minnesota, I couldn’t be happier to have them here right now! Why? Because I am breaking them in at the indoor pool, dreaming of warmer weather.

I already know what magic OOFOS footwear performs on my feet and legs. I am no stranger to the much-needed comfort they provide post marathons and half marathons. Here are some fun post-race pics from some recent events…



OOFOS footwear looks like an ordinary flip flop or slide or clog, but the instant you slip a pair on, you know you are dealing with something entirely different. That’s because OOFOS designs their footwear to enable a more natural motion, to absorb shock with every step, to cradle your arches. And that’s great news because after a long run, bike ride or strength/weight training session, I yearn to eleviate the stress placed on my feet, knees and back.

This new pair of OOlala sandals is working overtime for me. I’ve been dealing with issues resulting from injury…a temperamental meniscus and patellofemoral pain syndrome in my left knee and some angry arthritis in both for several months. Even though it’s not quite time for these outside…

they’ve been providing some pretty impressive relief from all three issues as I wear them around the house. I may have recommended my sports med doc start writing an RX for these for his other patients lol!

Friends, I’m pretty much addicted to this company’s footwear and I know you’ll love them too. But don’t take my word for it, stop by their website and check them out for yourself; your feet earned it! While you’re there, you’ll notice all their classics as well as some scrumptious new colors too!

Readers, if you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know how generous OOFOS is, so I recommend you all stop back tomorrow for an exciting little somethin’ somthin’…wink, wink!


I’m Carla and I’m an Addict

Friends, I’ve been keeping a secret for over a year now; I’m obsessed with a product/process that has become nothing short of an addiction. Well, it’s a bit less dramatic than that, but not much haha!

A while back I was looking for some new skin care ideas and asked my beautifully complected, worldly and much younger-but-wiser cousin Nadia for some recommendations. She turned me onto the “World’s Most Powerful Facial!” I ran right out to the local health food store to find it sold out. As luck would have it, I landed in San Diego a few days later and found it at a Whole Foods store.

It was nearly confiscated in customs on the flight back, but luckily it made the cut. I mean, I wonder what they thought it was. Well here’s the big beauty secret…it’s actually called Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay.

When the clay powder was mixed with apple cider vinegar according to directions, it instantly began to bubble and come to life. It became a green slime kind of concoction that when placed on one’s face gives the illusion of being related to the Incredible Hulk!

I first tried the mask with my brave friend and guinea pig, Cody. It was very green, and didn’t smell too appealing. But it didn’t have to, it wasn’t something to eat, it was more of a facial treat!

I was instantly aware of a tingling sensation that, as it dried, began to pulsate something fierce. My skin felt pulled and tightened. As we washed it off, our skin appeared extremely sunburnt, but that sensation and appearance soon subsided. We followed up with some Moroccanoil and enjoyed awesome, radiant complexions for days. I was instantly addicted…

And my addiction became a fun experience to share with those around me…


And it was not unusual for me to text a pic to Nadia and find that while I was masking with Spanky here in MN, she was doing the same thing halfway across the world in Afganistan!


Until she returned to the states and we could celebrate!

She’s back in Afghanistan, and I’m sitting here this afternoon trying to smile through a dried mask so tight that I can’t. And then the red after-glow…


I’m reminiscing how one beauty tip turned into such fond memories. And can’t wait for tomorrow when my skin glows again!

Friends, if you are looking for a deep pore cleansing 100% natural calcium bentonite clay mask experience, you need to try Aztec Secret! It’s not only the most inexpensive beauty secret, but the life of any party! A great way to put your Best Face Forward lol!

Nalu Float Review

Friends, amidst the feverish pace of holiday preparations, I was able to hit pause on all of it last evening. A profound opportunity allowing me to return to inner peace, I left completely recharged. Does this sound like heaven? Well I assure you, it came as close as I think I’ve ever been.

Jon, owner and operator of Nalu Float in Rochester, MN generously provided me with a 90 minute complimentary float in the hope I’d share my experience with readers.

If you’ve never heard of floating, this is an experience like no other. Nalu operates two float tanks that each hold 800 lbs of epsom and water at a depth of 10″. The water is heated to 93.5 degrees to duplicate skin temperature. You can read more about floating at Nalu Float here.

I’ve floated at other establishments before, but what sets Nalu appart from others is the warm, welcoming atmosphere. I felt right at home, probably because this business is nestled within a cozy home.

The waiting area, bathroom and float room are decorated with serenity in mind; they are spotless too! All the little extras like the pre-float meditation, luxury toiletries, robe, slippers, piles of plush towels and post-float cup of tea make this a truly exquisite experience. It’s plain to see Jon pays meticulous attention to every detail of his operation to leave a lasting impression on his customers.

As I mentioned, I’ve floated in the past, so I could hardly wait to climb into that tank!


But I’ve never taken the opportunity to float 90 minutes. I was astounded at the results. From the moment I stepped in, all sense of time ceased to exist. I felt as though this were an out-of-body experience until I realized it was much more of a melting inward, into my inner-most being. With the simulation of deprivation of all senses, it seemed impossible to discern where my body ended and the water began. Nearly right away, I felt weightless and quite suddenly noticed all pain left my body.

The boyancy produced from the high salt concentration allowed every last inch of my body to be suspended, supported, cradled. There was zero pressure on any of my angry parts. Although I’d been to sports med, the chiropractor and physical therapy this week, this was the modality that provided the most relief. I felt all of it…my muscles, tendons, ligaments…everything relax and release…just subtly let go.

This release allowed me a complete awareness of breath. The longer I was in the tank, the more I noticed how my breathing slowed…almost as if it were no longer necessary. I was just that gone…heavy meditated! My soul was lulled by the gentle rhythm of my heartbeat. I would have to describe this sensation as tranquil solitude. A state of blissful euphoria deeper than any I’ve experienced in the outside world.

Friends, I can’t think of a better way to treat your loved ones this holiday season. If you need a last-minute gift idea…look no further! Stop by Nalu’s Facebook page here for details on their current gift package offerings. And while you’re there, don’t forget about treating yourself too. Don’t forget to tell them Carla sent you!

This floating phenomenon is one more healing way to put our Best Foot Forward!




truewhite Advanced Review

Friends, a while back I was noticing some yellowing of my teeth…although I’m smiling in this picture, it was not something I was too excited about.


Around the same time, coincidentally, Jerome from True Company reached out asking if I’d be interested in trying their truewhite whitening system…I love how things work out like that!

I quickly agreed, because you readers know how much I enjoy those little me-time endeavors, so I had nothing to lose!

True Company generously provided me with a complimentary Advanced Plus whitening system for two people. I was excited that my husband and I would both give this product a whirl.

Here’s a look at half of the whitening system we received…there were two of everything included, except the shared activating LED light device.


We thoroughly read through the directions and began molding our mouth trays.


Eric and I had no problems with the lower trays, but we both left our upper trays in the boiled water for a moment or two too long, causing some accidental folding over and fusing of those trays…oops! Operator error stinks! But this company was so wonderful in shipping out some replacements and we were back in business right away.

What happened next was a bummer for Eric. As I began using the whitening kit, I had a pretty raging upper respiratory thing going on, so he chose not to proceed, as we would be sharing the LED light device. There was no reason to share the illness too, so I continued on without him.

The directions were very straightforward. I was able to form my trays relatively well this time. I placed the gel in the trays as directed, made very easy thanks to the syringe. I placed the trays over my teeth, inserted the little light, closed my lips over it and relaxed for the recommended 12-15 minutes. It looked something like this…


I used this time to catch up on emails and before I knew it, I was already finished with that first application. Cleanup was quick…just removed the trays, rinsed my mouth and rinsed the remaining gel off the trays. That was it. I was excited to do it all again the next day, because who doesn’t want another opportunity to relax?


And so it went for the remaining three days. Although this is a very simple, straightforward process, I urge a person to avoid whitening while plagued with a cough. At one point during one of my whitening sessions, I had a persistent need to cough that couldn’t be stifled. I made it to the sink just in time to forcefully eject all contents from my mouth…not pretty!

So after the whitening process, I have to say I really appreciate that I could do this in the comfort of my own home at my convenience. The process was simple, and despite some expected tingling from the gel, totally painless. I also appreciate there is enough gel for a few more touch-up applications. And when I clean the LED light with some antibacterial soap, Eric will be all set to take his turn.

I confess, I was a bit fearful my teeth would glow in the dark like Ross’ on that episode of Friends. I admit, I did not notice a major significance of change.  I did, however, notice my teeth appeared a few shades whiter. I wonder if I played with the molding of the trays and got an even more precise fit, I might get a more noticeable effect. With a couple more subsequent sessions with the leftover gel, I expect even better results.


Friends, I give this convenient whitening system a thumbs up! But don’t take my word for it, you can experience this fun me-time project for yourself at a significant savings. Simply click here to the True-Company’s link, offering a very low discounted price for FITBFFs readers! Perhaps this is just the thing you’ve been looking for to fill your own Christmas stocking!


Rollga Review

Fellow FIT BFFs, I have something I need to share with you because keeping it to myself would be downright selfish! I attended an expo recently where I met Tim, the co-owner of something that would soon change my life. Am I being dramatic? Not. One. Bit!!!


Tim is the co-creator of Rollga, an ingenious recovery tool I have grown to crave after a long run or cycling session. When I first laid eyes on it, I had no idea how I’d come to need it! Actually, I had no idea what it even was lol! Luckily, Tim was at the expo demonstrating this invention and after spending a short time getting some pointers, I knew it would soon be one of my favorite pieces of at-home equipment!

Rollga 2

Tim generously provided me with a complimentary Rollga to test drive and review for all of you. I have used foam rollers at home and in the gym for over a year now to relieve tight muscles after tough workouts. I looked at those recovery sessions with fear because, frankly, it hurt; I sometimes wondered if people could hear my IT band screaming from across the gym! Those of you who foam roll know what I’m talking about!

This is where the Rollga is different! Rollga’s unique design boasts the first connective tissue therapy roller that was created to better target problem areas in less time with more stability…its shape is key and this is what Rollga has to say…

“By avoiding muskuloskeletal bone structure, Rollga Rollers penetrate muscle tissues that lie below the elevations of the skeletal structure. Because of this patented design, you will certainly feel Rollga’s natural ability to release trigger points that you have never been able to touch in the past with traditional foam rollers.”

The Rollga is offered in three different foam resistances…softer, firm and extra firm. And as their website states, “At 18 inches, Rollga is big enough to treat your whole body and small enough to fit in your backpack.”

I appreciate that Rollga has a durable surface that’s easy to clean. I’m also excited to share that Rollga’s headquarters are right here in St. Cloud, MN…I LOVE that!

Because the website offers an easy to follow, downloadable user guide it’s a snap to get started right away here:

With several running events and a long-distance bike tour this summer, my quads will be doing lots of rockin’ and rolling on that Rollga. I have a feeling it will make a significant difference in my training, performance and recovery.

Scout Camp 2016 054

Thanks, Tim of Rollga, for the fantastic opportunity to get acquainted with your awesome product; I give Rollga two very enthusiastic thumbs up!

Cozy Phones Review

Friends, recently I received a snazzy CozyPhones headphones headband generously provided by Halo Acoustic Wear for a test drive and review.

Cozyphones 2-001

I chose the lycra version to best fit my active lifestyle needs. I have to say right off, I don’t wear headbands, hats or visors when I run because I don’t care for the feel of anything on my head except in the winter when it becomes a necessity. In that case, these would be great! And, they also come in a fleece version which would tame the cold even more!


I chose to wear the CozyPhones headband on a recent kayak excursion. Although it was a bit loose-fitting for me, the headphones were adjustable. With some quick and simple placement of the headphones, I was all set. I really liked that the cord is a durable woven material rather than flimsy rubber. The headband itself is made of very nice quality fabrics too. I pulled it on, plugged it in and was ready to take off. Because the headphones are contained within the headband, my hands are not necessary as they are with earbuds that need frequent adjustment. And when kayaking, that’s a very good thing!


The headband stayed put throughout my entire trek. The sound quality was good and I liked how my ears were protected from the wind. That brought me to my next thought…these would be great for biking too! My ears are sensitive to wind, and on a bike there is always wind! The headband would fit well under my helmet.

The more I read about the company, the more I liked…it is a US based, veteran-owned family business. They have a great line of kids novelty fleece headband headphones too. Stop by the website to check out all their great products at

The Work(in) Review

Hey Friends, I recently received a package in the mail that I couldn’t be more excited about! The fitness equipment contained in this package was generously provided to me in exchange for a blog review. Although I was packing for a family vacation at the time, I decided to toss it in my suitcase and take it along so I could try it out at soon as possible. Here’s what arrived:

Work in 9-001

Two very convenient-sized pouches…

Work in 10-001

One pouch contained a core ball ready for simple inflation with the included straw and plug. The other contained three resistance loop bands of varying levels of resistance. I appreciate the ball can be easily deflated and everything fits right back into the pouches for travel convenience…it’s like a portable strength training gym right there in my suitcase!

I’ve used both types of equipment before with my trainers for various strength training exercises, so I was eager to put them to the test. I noticed right away the core ball was very durable and of commercial gym-grade quality. I know this is an item that will be with me for a long time; and that’s great because I have some pretty important uses for it. I love that I will have it available for both at-home and on-the-go use.

The resistance loop bands (although not as thick as the bands I’m accustomed to at the gym) are a nice weight quality that will be very useful too. And great news, both the core ball and set of resistance loop bands retail for $14.99 each…in my opinion, that’s really affordable equipment!

Both items are designed to improve balance, core strength, posture and flexibility. Both are great for all fitness levels. Having used similar items in the gym, I was familiar with some exercises, but I decided to stop by The Work(in)’s website to check things out further at

The website includes several video examples of uses. Once I’d taken a look, I decided to play around on the pier of the resort I was staying at…I can’t think of a more perfect place to work out! Here’s the glute bridge I’ve done a million of haha!

Work in 4

And then, something a little more advanced.

Work in 2 Work in 3

And judging from the videos on the website, I have many more challenging things to try, moving forward!

I had a great time trying out the resistance loop bands as well…here’s a little plank variation that had me breathing heavy haha!

Work in 5 Work in 6

Then a little hip abductor action.

Work in 1

And finally a fun little squat-stepping action…boy did I feel that one as I worked my way up and down that pier!

Work in 7 Work in 8

I give both of these products two enthusiastic thumbs up, fellow FIT BFFs! If this is something you might find useful in your quest for fitness, stop by the website to find out how you can get yours, and what to do with them here.

The Work(in) core ball and resistance loop bands…convenient gym equipment for your home or travel…one more way we can all put our Best Foot Forward!