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

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tall Mom Test Lab Tuesday

The day I dedicate to ALL things I review..


This is going to be a pretty QUICK Test Lab, I am typing this the night before a VERY BUSY day at work.. Working my way toward Christmas Vacation!!!


I LOVE LOVE the Movie Elf. Could it be because I can relate to being taller than most of the people around?? Nah... it is because of lines like this "I love to smile. Smiling is my Favorite." and "Santa! I know him." We bought this movie at the Target Black Friday sale for $3.99, SCORE!! If you want to get in the Spirit watch this movie! The bathroom singing version of "Baby It's Cold Outside," melts my heart!

I have collection, it all started with a trip to Washington D.C. for business. I wanted a trinket to remember the trip, but had no time to shop. At the Airport Starbucks I bought a mug, see the photo below. Not I have 6 or more?? From cities I love, or trips that I want to remember.. Beth, I even have one for Saint Louis.. If you ever want to give Tall Mom a gift, a Starbucks Mug would be a great start.


The other night I had a hankering for some Hot Cocoa.. If you are trying to lose weight or counting WW points skip this part because this is not a Low calorie beverage. I am no culinary expert, so you won't see real recipes...but this I can do.

2 packets Hot Chocolate

Hot Water

Peppermint Mocha Creamer


Mini Marshmallows

Hello YUMMERS! Let the cup warm your hands.. Sooo good!!



Every year my family makes homemade fudge. I love this tradition! And I must say that I get my FILL every year, this is why the Tall Mom Diet won't start until 2010. I would pass on the recipe, but it is TOP SECRET!!

This year Tall Grandma bought pretzels for the kids to dip in melted baking chocolate. She had White Chocolate and Milk Chocolate. And for a kicker, she had sprinkles. Pretzel, Chocolate and sprinkles...YUMMY!!

My Tall Nephew (Truly he is heads above over every kid his age) is an ARTIST and created an AMAZING Gingerbread house. We thought it would be FUN. Being less creative we bought the pre-package version from Fred Meyer for $11.99 on sale. See the photo of our efforts above. My main GRIPE about this was that the Gingerbread Man and Snowman would not stand up. Overall it was a fun way to spend and hour... and eat some FROSTING..


I am in TEST Mode for a few winter products right now... Not quite ready for the FULL review.. But this is what I looked like last Monday. I am a cold Weather WIMP!! The next cover was GREAT because I can pull it up and down, great for WIND gusts. We ripped the tag out after we bought it, so I am not sure about the brand. Basically this is a piece of Fleece sewn together that fits over the head. I bet you could even sew your own. Besides smelling my won breath, it was nice gear to have.

It is hard to tell from this picture but Smartwool has some seriously ADORABLE socks. Smartwool sent me 3 pairs to TEST and I already owned a pair my buddy Katie bought me for my Birthday. Will review all 3 pairs soon.

W's PhD Run Ultra Light Mini (HERE):

What Smartwool says:

Our ultra light cushioned W's PhD Running Ultra Light Mini is the perfect running sock for mild weather and shorter distances. Specifically designed for a woman's foot. Thanks to the WOW technology in the high density impact zones, shock and abrasion are reduced.

Materials: 69% Merino Wool 28% Nylon 3% Elastic

Tall Mom Thoughts:

To tell the TRUTH I was really hesitant to try WOOL socks...well in the Summer months anyhow. Now I am EXCITED!! I wear these socks around my house because my feet are always cold. The style of the socks is CUTE, the added cushion is very comfortable and I do not find the socks to be itchy, like I thought they would be. in January 2010 Smartwool will come out with new UNIQUE styles. Smartwool also offer Men's, Women's and Kids Apparel, apparel, accessories and slipper.


Why oh why do Race Directors have the Registration fees go up on 12/31 and 1/1?? Hmmm?? Do they not realize that budgets are a little tight right now? UGH!! I was putting together my 2010 Race spreadsheet which includes a column for the price and fee deadlines. And you guessed it, many of the fess go up $10++ the end of 2009. REALLY?? Consider this a friendly reminder to check those races so you don't miss the CHEAPER rates.

That's all for now folks... HAPPY TUESDAY!!

**If you have something you would like me to review on a future Tall Mom Test lab Tuesday please email me. **


Allie said...

I was just talking about getting some new socks, I've had a lot of people tell me to try smartwool so I'll definitely have to try them now.

Genesis said...

i couldnt help but laugh out loud because i did a spreadsheet too for the local races that lead up to the seattle rock n roll. why do the ones in spokane have to be sooooo expensive? i dont get it!

teacherwoman said...

I absolutely LOVE the movie ELF! I think I watch it a few times a year!

Marci said...

Oooo I almost bought the SF mug, and then I saw the Toronto mug. I love the idea of collecting these..

Marlene said...

I could go for a hot cocoah with marshamallows right about now. YUM!

That fleece face cover looks like a great idea. So warm and cozy and I love that you can slide it down when you don't need it.

I totally hear you on race fees going up during this time of years. CUT US SOME SLACK!

X-Country2 said...


Why are we whispering?
I like to whisper too.

Pining for Pinterest said...

Love the movie ELF and what a great deal you got!!!

Alisa said...

I'll be eagerly awaiting your review of the socks. I need to find something for the cold especially on my bike!

Anonymous said...

I wanna come make gingerbread houses!!! Love it :)

Kathleen said...

AAAH Elf is just so great :)

Velma said...

Thanks for the shout out :) I have never seen elf, so I will have to rent it. Thanks for the heads up on wool socks - people keep telling me about them, but I worry they will be itchy. Have a great day!

heather said...

Hot chocolate may not be low calorie but I can use it to dampen my chocolate cravings so I don't eat something WAY WORSE. That almost makes it health food!

Besides, all Elf fans know that you have to get the four food groups - candy, candy canes, candy corn, syrup!

Anonymous said...

I bought one of those fleecy things for $3 at walmart to try out but, luckily it hasn't been too cold---oh wait, nope I've been too big of a wuss to go outside and run. The treadmill and I are BFF's :)

Allison said...

Your hot chocolate recipe souds divine. I think that I may have to give it a whirl!

Katie A. said...

I LOVE ELF! I almost want to put syrup on everything like him...almost!
And you are sooooo right with the race fees! I am looking at Big Sur right now and those greedy dudes want $175! Ugh! By 1/15!

April said...

Thanks for the heads up on the race fees!! And I adore the movie ELF!!!!

Kerrie said...

The races fees...UGH! I can't forget to register of Mercer Island. I was looking at a June marathon (North Olympic Discovery) and their fees don't go up till after Jan. 31, which is nice. Ever heard of this one? Sequim to Port Angeles.

Lisa said...

You look so ready to run in the cold! I love it! do any of those things have reflectors? It gets dark so early, just be careful!

Lynette said...

The singing in the shower scene in ELF is probably my favorite part of the movie:)

Neck covers are my go-to item when ever we are going out in the cold...Seahawks games, running, skiing, or sledding! They are the best.

Tom LOVES his Smartwool socks. He almost never wears anything else now. He specifically bought them for hot weather, actually. And you're right...not itchy like I thought!

Lisa said...

Love the gingerbread house! The idea of dipping pretzels is great too. I'll have to remember that for when I have kids someday. I've been hesitant to try wool socks too, but you've convinced me to take a second look next time I'm at REI. Finally, that's a great idea about a race spreadsheet with columns for fees and deadlines. I'm always signing up at the last minute and paying more than I should.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

We love Elf at our house!

My mom should own Starbucks - she is there nearly every day! She drive into town just to get her drink and consumes it as if it were a meal. I'll have to check out the mugs for her.

Wool sock? I'd think they were itchy.

I wish I had a plan for racing next year. I often wait until the last minute due to my hubbs schedule.

I like the cold weather gear. I have a black neck/face cover. I wear it as a hat/ear warmer sometimes too. When it is really cold, I love it!

Jill said...

Love the movie Elf, too. I wish I could eat just sugar for all my meals :). I used to work at REI and got a big discount on those Smartwool socks - truly miss that now! I have to seriously cut out a lot of races in 2010 because the fees are just getting to be too outrageous...I totally agree with you there! Happy Tuesday to you!!

Nicole said...

I love, love, love my SmartWools! i ran in them all summer and have now switched to my thicker winter ones. I'm excited to see their new product line. Thanks for all the reviews! GL getting everything done at work before vacation!

No Longer Using said...

i adorrrre all mugs!!! i think these make great gifts!!! i love all the ideas, thank you :)

sorry about the race fees :( i think it stinks how much it costs to race.

RobinLK said...

Hey Mel!
Have been away from bloggy land for a few days.. what a fun post to return to! :-) I grinned from ear to ear as I scrolled down. Here's my question: if we send you a mug from our city, will this increase the odds that you actually visit us?? LOL (I'll send 3!)

Funny about the hot chocolate b/c I just read a blurb in the Jan issue of RW about a 5-time marathoner (and NYC chocolatier) who chose hot chocolate over water at mile 20 of the NYC marathon a few yrs ago, and started a trend that day. Go figure!

Love the gingerbread house. I've got a how-to video on my food blog this Thurs, showing how to make one from scratch. Fun, kid-friendly project for sure!

Enjoy those wool socks.. they look so comfy (and cute!).

Hugs from Orlando,

Bethany + Ryan said...

Hi tall mom, thanks for your christmas card! Its so cute! We have it up on the fridge! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE ELF TOO!!!! I watched it the other night :)

Melanie Tait said...

I love Elf too! I'm a sucker for Christmas movies. My fave fave fave is "Miracle on 34th Street" - the modern one. Love it. Always makes me want to live in NYC.

Yuuuuuuuuum to fudge and yummy hot drinks. Although it's 31 degrees celcius here today so we're all about cold water...

Lindsay said...

lol about doubling up the hot chocolate recipe. low cal for sure! ;)

your comment about the race fees reminded me i need to get on that too! ahhh! i'm such a procrastinator.

Jennifer P said...

Ditto on everyone that raves about Smart Wool. I wore them for the Maui 1/2 and that was a hot course! Enjoy to cooler running temps.

Anonymous said...

I first tried Smart Wool socks during the hot Arizona summer. I love 'em even more now that it's much cooler. :) That's a great gingerbread house- ours looks like it had a cave in on one side of the roof!

Aron said...

i think i have watched elf AT LEAST 5 time already this year :) BEST movie!

Unknown said...

i love elf too!

Unknown said...

i love elf too!

Michelle said...

Great job on the G-bread house!

Thanks for the sock review. I am trying to find some new ones for summer.

Suzy said...

Your gingerbread house turned out great! I seriously need to invest in some cool weather socks because it gets a little cool here in NY. Great post, as always.

Laura said...

I love me some marshmallows and ELF. I saw ELF in the theater with the husband and my siblings..none of us were with kids or under 30.....

Unknown said...

I love hot cocoa, new mugs, Christmas movies with great one-liners, gingerbread houses, and all things running! I think we were meant to be friends...

Kara said...

Kind of a crazy coincidence, but I'm pretty sure that we went to GU at the same time. (Graduated in 2001) Go Zags! Anyway, not only that, but I'm the one who sent you the SmartWool socks since I work on that account at the PR agency where I work. Glad you like them and can't wait to read more reviews.

Stacy said...

I love the city mugs by Starbucks too! So far, I have 3. One from my own city, Sacramento which looks like your Spokane one and San Francisco, and Chicago. I wished that my SF and Chicago ones looked like my Sac one though. It's all colorful and kinda smaller in girth.