6'0 tall, former athlete, mother of 3, struggling to keep up on the RUN of daily life.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tall Mom Test Lab Tuesday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Tall Sister and Tall BF's Little Man..

A day I dedicate to all things I review
Living, Eating and Running
What do you think of the new Logo?? Be Honest :)

Shutterfly (HERE):
I TRY to be creative in my Gift Giving.. Last year I had some fun with a FREE Photo book via an Oprah promotion. Although I liked creating the book, the website I used last year was TOUGH to use. I was a bit Gun shy in trying to make another photo book...but then saw a Promotion via Target and Shutterfly.

Ends December 2nd
50% off your Second Photobook
FREE Shipping over $25

Things I like:

  • The "Storyboard Option" lets you drag and drop pictures, the system then chooses which template fits your photos best. I am ANAL so this is a great way to save myself time in sorting. Upload all your pictures and have fun!
  • Loads of colorful pages and formats to select from.
  • Many places to add captions or quotes.
  • FAST website with minimal issues.
  • Ability to save and copy a project, and add photos in files. This is a GREAT way to create several projects at one time.. Sort of like Scrap booking and not having to recreate the pages you want to SHARE with several people.

  • The arrow for "Next Page" and "NEXT" are located in strange places, I kept hitting NEXT which took me out of my project when I really wanted the Next Page.
  • The Add Photos section is set up a little off, makes it tough to determine the next step. I figured it out, but it could have been more user friendly.
  • That is about it...I really liked the site overall..

Lean Cuisine BBQ Chicken Quesadilla:
260 Calories of Tasty Lunch goodness... The cost at our local Winco is $1.80, bargain for a quick lunch. I LOVE the flavor, almost feels like I am cheating. I am not a Fan of the Baja one, so stick to the BBQ.
Yoplait Whips Strawberry:
Of course when Yoplait has the PINK lids I smile. This 160 Whipped Yogurt is soooo tasty, the Little Studs even love it. At work I will throw one in the freezer and enjoy an afternoon ICE CREAM like snack. If you are not a fan of Strawberry there are other flavors, including Chocolate.
Garmin Forerunner 305:
I have been asked a lot lately about my Garmin. I have had the Garmin 305 for about a year, Christmas gift last year, and I LOVE IT!!
What Garmin Says:
The Forerunner 305 includes a high sensitivity GPS receiver, new courses feature and robust wireless heart rate monitor for optimal performance. You can customize any of Forerunner 305's three main data screens — up to twelve data fields give you instant feedback on your workout. And, as with every Forerunner, each workout is stored in memory so you can review and analyze the data and see how you've improved over time

Tall Mom Thoughts:
Will have to break it down into Bullets...
Things I Like:
  • Easy to read screen helps on Interval and Speed Training.
  • Instant upload of Data for easy tracking of mileage, pace and calories.
  • High Battery power, when I remember to plug in.
  • Large adjustable band fits around even bulky winter gloves.
  • Satellite from anywhere helps to know your distance run regardless of if you know the area or not...no more having to Map out a path.


  • On overcast or Rainy days it can take a while to find the Satellite feed, will have to put the watch down and off the ground until it connects.
  • The heart rate monitor is uncomfortable so I don't wear it.
  • GARMIN GREMLINS!! There are some paths around my work that I don't run because I know that my Garmin will freak, one minute I am running 6:06 pace then 10:35 pace, WHAT?? Can also be an issue while racing.

Overall I highly recommend this product for running, regardless of the distance. I have been told that the Garmin 305 is ON SALE!!! Shop Around to get the BEST price. Looks like Bestbuy (HERE) has the Garmin 305 on Sale for $139.99, but shop around for the Cheapest Price.

thriv Natural Performance Women's Holyoke Short Sleeve Top(HERE):

What thriv Says:
Workout in style in the thriv® Natural Performance women's Holyoke short-sleeve top. The top features a unique bamco® fabric construction that feels like cashmere but offers breathability, UV protection, and moisture-wicking capabilities.

Key Specs:
Fabric Content:50% bamboo, 45% organic cotton, 5% elastane

Tall Mom Thoughts:
First off I LOVE LOVE that thriv embraced the Blog world with samples for many of us to test. I was sent a Black T-Shirt which I tested first at Little Stud #1's Birthday party. I really loved that the $25 shirt felt expensive, well because it is. The breathable fabric is great for a Mom on the go, picking up toys, and keeping a house full of party kids under control. The next day I wore the shirt to Volleyball. I am TALL and the shirt is a little short for blocking and spiking. I doubt I will wear the shirt to run because I don't want to pull it down the whole time. I doubt this would be an issue for those with less Amazon features.

After a wash I wore the shirt in the home gym with Muscle Man, the breathable fabric kept me cool and comfortable. The shirt did not shrink, but it did fade a little. Overall I would recommend the shirt, but only if it is on SALE...
  • Bags of Thanks Giveaway is going GREAT! Wow people you really like a good bag. If you have not entered go HERE, Ends 12/3.
  • Bloggy Pack Members are also hosting Giveaways/Reviews, Christmas Music HERE, and Asics Visor HERE.

Next Week the the Test Lab theme will be Christmas List...so Stay Tuned..

Tall Mom Tested

Battle Approved

**If you have a product you would like Tall Mom to Review on Test Lab Tuesday please email tallmomontherun(at) hotmail (dot) com.


Velma said...

Very nice reviews :) I am going to be 36 - thank goodness I have a few years before 40.

Tricia said...

Love the reviews!

Melissa said...

Thanks for the Garmin review. My dad ordered mine from Amazon on sale for Christmas and I'm so excited!

Janice {Run Far} said...

great review. I have been wanting to try the yogurt. Love my garmin... kinda freak when I forget to plug it in and then the next run I have to run solo.

Lisa said...

I love love love my Garmin. Got it in August and it is a must have, even over my ipod. I love knowing what pace I'm running and not having to map out a route in advance.

Being Robinson said...

nice reviews, i used to be a hardcore yoplait user, but i switched to organic, i wish yoplait would make a low sugar organic yogurt! anyway, i've been MIA a LOT lately :) thought i'd stop in and say hey!! can't wait to see your christmas review list, should be fun. i hope a santa running hat is involved...hint hint... ;)

RunToTheFinish said...

ahhh garmin I heart thee

No Longer Using said...

i feel like a bad gadget-user b/c i have never even tried to use the garmin heart rate monitor. it's so easy not to use it.... grr. but i feel like i should try it. double grr.

freezing yogurt.. why have i not thought of that?!?! genius!!!!!!!!!

Pining for Pinterest said...

Great reviews! I really want a Garmin for Christmas so thanks for the insight on the sale!

Zoƫ said...

Freezing yogurt sounds like a fantastic idea...must try. Great reviews!

Alisa said...

I used to freeze my yogurt all the time. I don't like the "whips" version though, something about the consistency makes me want to yak =).

I will have to try the lean cuisine quesadilla. I used to really like the panni's!

garmin rocks! I have the 205 and I love it, I don't know how I ran without it.

Marlene said...

Holy entries on the Bag of Thanks!!!

Mmm, those Lean Cuisine things look good. Don't think we have them here, but I have bought the LC paninis in the past, which are good. Quick, easy, cheap and low-cal lunches. YAY!

Thanks for your awesome, honest reviews as always.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Great reviews.

I need to replace my shorted out Garmin. I may ask for one for Christmas!

The Lean Cuisine review made me hungry! But I only have an egg and veggie sandwich. Not as good.

What is painted on the wall in your gym??

Bethany + Ryan said...

Can I just say how much more I LOVE my garmin 305 since switching it from instantaneous pace to average pace!! No more jumping around at all! And really, who cares what I'm running this very second, if I have a certain time goal then the only way to really know if I'm on pace is to know my avrage pace. I get anxiety just thinking about the instant pace! Lol. I can't believe I ran so long like that, I'm never switching back!! LOL

Redhead Running said...

I love Shutterfly and have been working for months on my "Road to Chicago" album. I can FINALLY print it soon! Yay!!!

I got the Black Thriv t-shirt as well, I still need to review it. Bad Blogger!!!

Great post!

As for the logo... you may want to put a drop shadow on the text so it's easier to read.

Lynette said...

Okay...love the logo, but I agree that the writing is a little hard to read. I find that I have that problem when I use all caps with a cursive style font.

I use Shutterfly:) I tried a couple of other programs, and they are just too confusing. I agree there are things that could be improved about Shutterfly, but it is definitely the most user friendly program I've found for this application.

Love me some Yoplait..whips or regular. (Pink lids make me smile, too.) My favorites are Key Lime Pie and Lemon...really light and refreshing.

I haven't tried the quesadillas yet. But I LOVE the paninis, so I'll get on it. Grocery Outlet has SUPER prices on Lean Cuisines, too.

Have a great day Mel!

Aron said...

i loooove my garmin!

gba_gf said...

I made everyone in our family Shutterfly Photo Albums for Christmas! It's the only gift that works universally for Yachtsmen, Retirees and Siblings who need "nothing". Seriously, BEST EVER. Except - do you have an APPLE? Make a book in iPhoto sometime and you'll dislike both Shutterly & Snapfish so much you'll never want to go back.

I heart my Garmin, except for on Marathon day when it had performance anxiety and wouldn't work. Still, I got it for Christmas last year from my H and it was the best gift he's ever given me. (including our 11 year anniversary, when he got me a ring, I'm embarrassed to admit), ~sigh~


nice reviews ... thanks for the best buy link ... the hubby is so getting a 305 for his christmas present!

Badgergirl said...

I love the Shutterfly photo books. I've used it to make books for my half marathon and a triathlon last year. Still waiting to put together this year's model.

And thanks for the Garmin review. Have been considering getting one, just haven't been able to make a decision. You're review helped!

And I love the Tall Mom Test Lab!

Rookie on the Run said...

Shutterfly is way cool! I've used them to upload my digital scrap booking projects and have been happy with the finished products they've produced.

I just bought a bunch of LC today... but not that one. I'll have to look for it.

I just got my Garmin 305 today!! I can't wait to figure it out and start using it.

Thanks for the reviews!

RunningFromCancer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RunningFromCancer said...

I love my Garmin - I have the 405 and use it all the time. So far - the only problem has been at times it takes awhile to pick up the satellites.

Love the yogurt - BUT I have been trying to cut out High Fructose Corn Syrup - so no more Yoplait - I switched over to Stonyfield Farm yogurt and love, love, love it. You need to try it. It is much less sweet than Yoplait - but very yummy.

The logo reminds me of the crawl at the start of Star Wars . . . A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . . .

TEST Lab suggestion: I am looking for new running pants and I know that a lot of people wear compression pants . . . I am wondering if they keep you warm in 20 degree weather?

Kerrie said...

Okay, I just hollered at my husband in the kitchen, "Mel says the Garmin is on sale at Best Buy for $139!"

He said: "Um, I think I'm capable of doing the Christmas shopping, dude."


Christina said...

So how do you have time to do these? You are amazing.

Anyways...the Garmin. I always put mine on the ground or on a window sill to find the satellites. Having it on my arm, regardless of weather takes too long.

The gremlins show up for me when turning corners or around power lines.

Allison said...

Love the Garmin too, but can completely do without the heart rate monitor...not to mention it is HUGE!

Michelle said...

Alright, you ladies are making me have Garmin envy! I can't quite justify the purchase just yet....Maybe in a couple more months...

Love the new logo! Very neat!

Oz Runner said...

love the shutterfly books, we've made a couple...and how could i live without my garmin? not sure how i ran before i had one...

Suzy said...

ITA about the 'next' button on Shutterfly when making photobooks. But, the books are great so I'll keep going back (with coupons, of course).

I'm surprised to hear you find the HRM for your Garmin so uncomfortable. I have to say it is one of the most comfortable I've worn! Plus, it actually works if I put it under my sportsbra, where the Polar HRM needs to be below the bra and sometimes slides down to my waist when I get really sweaty. Such a wonderful image...not. Great Test Lab Tues.

Lisa said...

Nice round-up of reviews! I love Lean Cuisine... there are so many great flavors. I haven't commented in awhile because I'm behind on reading, but I wanted to let you (and your readers) know that I'm holding my first giveaway. It's small, but hopefully someone will enjoy getting a little sampling of products. Check it out here: http://sillylisa.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/its-december-already-giveaway/

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up on the Garmin price drop. I have a friend who borrowed mine and now is looking to buy one too. Great find!