May 30, 2022

Guide to Eat/Drink/Visit: Roanoke VA

Guide to Eat/Drink/Visit: Roanoke VA

I am a fan of easy to read recommendations for traveling so I can create lists of possible places to eat/drink and things to do when I visit cities. I find it hard to find so why not share my own mini guides with others! 

Between Camp Flex & Flow last year and my weekend getaway for the Blue Ridge Half Marathon this year, I have been lucky enough to spend some time in Roanoke Virginia which is just over a 4 hour drive away from Baltimore. This small city in southwest Virginia is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains and features a vibrant downtown with plenty of ways to explore the great outdoors. Roanoke was very pedestrian friendly and easy to drive around and find parking in, which is a plus as a tourist. Here are some of my recommendations for what to eat, drink, and do in Roanoke, VA: 


Bread Craft- This artisan bakery has selection of fresh breads and pastries as well as a café with super delicious sandwiches in their café. They were sold out of many items later in the day so make it a part of your morning during the visit!

amazing croque monsieur sandwich from Breadcraft

Local Roots-I haven’t actually visited this spot due to time constraints of my last visit but this was on all the lists of places to check out for farm to table cuisine

Jack Brown’s Roanoke-A lowkey spot with DELICIOUS burgers and a large selection of craft beers

Blue Cow Ice Cream Co-This small batch artisan ice cream company has some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had! Blue Cow Ice Cream Co flavors include Goat Cheese with Blueberry Swirl, Chocolate Brownie, and Sea Salt Brickle with Caramel Swirl. They even do ice cream FLIGHTS!

The River and Rail-Also another restaurant I didn’t get to eat at, but the reviews are great. Here you’ll find southern fare and craft cocktails.

Tuco’s Taqueria Garaje- delicious tacos and tequila & mezcal-what’ better than that!


I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention checking out Virginia’s Blue Ridge Cheer Trail for a collection of local breweries, wineries, and distilleries. I didn’t have a chance to visit any wineries yet but there’s so many to choose from in Roanoke so go have a glass (or two!) in my honor.

Big Lick Brewing Company-Great craft brewery downtown with a large beer garden. There’s no food onsite but you can have food delivered onsite from nearby Tucos Taqueria or Beamer’s 25.

Golden Cactus Brewing- You can’t miss the colorful mural on the outside of this brewery located in an old warehouse.

Starr Hill Pilot Brewery & Side Stage-craft brewery with stage for lie music and rotating food trucks on their outdoor patio

Sweet Donkey Coffee-Super cute coffee shop in a historic house with a large porch and outdoor patio. They also have some pastries and specialty drinks including a delicious cinnamon bun latte.

Well Hung Vineyard-If you have a sense of humor and enjoy wine, this is the place for you.



Mill Mountain Star

The Mill Mountain Star is one of the most famous attractions in Roanoke and stands 88.5 feet tall! It was actually first built in 1949 as a Christmas decoration. This 90-foot icon has overlooked the city since the 1950s. While you’re visiting the star you can also visit Mill Mountain Park which has several hiking & biking trails as well as the Discovery Center, Mill Mountain Zoo, and Wildflower Garden.

Taubman Museum of Art

The Taubman Museum Art is a museum with a cool, modern exterior and contains galleries of art from around the world alongside regional art. Admission is free!

Shopping in Grandin Village

This walkable area outside of downtown has lots of restaurants and unique stores that makes for a perfect afternoon of eating and shopping.

Blue Ridge Mountains exploring

The Blue Ridge region of Virginia offers over 1000 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and paddling that includes Roanoke. Start planning an outdoor adventure of your choosing with some suggestions here.

Virginia Museum of Transportation-This large museum in downtown Roanoke’s freight station includes a large collection of locomotives. FYI, many of the locomotives are outdoors so wear comfy shoes!

Roanoke City Market

Historic Roanoke City Market is a year-round farmer’s market open downtown 7 days a week 8 AM-5 PM since 1882.

Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon

After running the Blue Ridge Half Marathon this past year, of course I have to plug the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon weekend. The race includes a marathon, half marathon, 10K, and the option to do a double marathon as well. It all happens in April during the Down by Downtown Music Festival. It is “America’s Toughest Road Marathon” with over 7430 ft in elevation change. You run miles along the Blue Ridge Parkway with lots of hills and fun along the way. It starts and finishes in a festival-like atmosphere in downtown Roanoke. The race was well-organized and a perfect race-cation.

{Disclosure: My race entry/lodging for the half marathon this past year was sponsored by Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge}

Roanoke Pinball Museum

Play over 65 pinball machines ranging from the year 1932 to today at the Roanoke Pinball Museum. Don’t worry about bringing quarters, the museum has flat admission ticket fees that cover UNLIMITED play!


This store was such a hit during our scavenger hunt for Camp Flex & Flow that I was sure to hit it up last time I was in town. It’s a cute store that has lots of chocolates, candies, a large collection of unique greeting cards, gifts, and other paper products.

Have you ever visited Roanoke and what was your favorite thing to eat/drink/visit there?

December 5, 2021

cariPRO Water Flosser from Smile Brilliant (Review)

Disclosure: Smile Brilliant sent me a complimentary cariPRO Water Flosser to review.  As always all thoughts & opinions are my own.

I previously reviewed and tested out Smile Brilliant's At-Home Whitening and their CariPRO Ultrasonic Toothbrush so I was excited to try another one of their products to up my oral care game after my latest dentist appointment. Yes, I still get nervous at dentist appointments and my worries were validated when I was told that I had no cavities (yay!), but I did have some gum recession and plaque build up at my gum line. 

I trust Smile Brilliant’s oral care products because they are custom-formulated with the latest research to improve oral care and now have an expanded product line including their cariPRO cordless water flosser, a custom night guard system and temporary oral dye Plaque Highlighters.

Aside from the recommendation to use my electric toothbrush, I was told I really need to focus on flossing. I’m someone who uses floss picks because I find it hard to use dental floss (despite my dental hygienist telling me every time that regular string floss is better but something is better than nothing). Sometimes my gums bleed, and I worry about brushing too hard on my gums. I know flossing is important, but I just find it hard to do so I was excited to try a water flosser/water pick.

The water flosser uses a long tip to shoot water in between your teeth which makes it gentle and easy to use. Just like the cariPRO toothbrush it even has interval timing so you do not have to think about how long is long enough to be flossing each area of your mouth. I like this feature because it forces me to not to rush through my oral care. Once you fill the reservoir with water, you basically just turn it on and aim it all your gum line in between your teeth. 

This easy flosser has been shown to result in 99.9% less plaque in treated areas. It is also waterproof so you can use it in the shower. It even has 3 different floss modes and 4 specialty tips for those with braces or restorations such as crowns. 

(Credit: Smile Brilliant)

My bathroom is already pretty cluttered so I like that it is cordless and holds a 28 day battery charge (from full charge).  I’m really excited to keep this electric flosser in my oral care routine with regular flossing and brushing my teeth with my electric toothbrush-hopefully this improves my gum health!

Check out more details on the cariPRO Water Flosser here.  Each cariPRO product comes with a 2 year limited warranty and 60 day trial period with easy returns. Smile Brilliant also ships worldwide!

Treat yourself this holiday season (or find that last minute gift!) and save 20% off with my coupon code: breathedeeplyandsmile20

November 15, 2021

Lauren's Favorite Things: A Holiday Gift Guide for Athletes/Runners

Lauren’s Favorite Things

A Gift Guide for Runners & Athletes

I’ve put together some of my favorite items in general that also make great gifts (small and large!) for the athlete in your life this holiday season. I shared part of this list on the Lily Trotters blog, but have a few more items added in here. Lots of these items I am lucky enough to have discount codes for you to use-anytime. I own all of these items (or similar ones) and am happy to always answer any questions you have or further recommendations. Most of these items I have been using and recommending for years.  Comment or reach out to me on social media! Also be sure to check out my holiday post last year about small businesses and organizations to support this holiday seasons-it’s still relevant a year later.

ALSO check out my Instagram and keep an eye out for a fun giveaway today and every Monday until Christmas for a chance to win an item from one of the brands mentioned in my gift guide!

1.       1. Koala Clip (from $28.99): Koala Clip is the best way to carry your phone on the run. It can be worn clipped to your sports bra or waistband. It comes in different sizes to accommodate all types of phones. Koala Clips are available in fun colors and patterns along with the option for inspiring mantras on each one.

Any time of year you can save 10% off purchases at Koala Clip with my code LAURENS10 

2.      2. Nox Gear Tracer2 Visibility Vest (from $69.95): This waterproof vest is the ultimate in light up products for runners or cyclists to stay safe and visible in the dark.  It has 360 degrees of visibility for up to ¼ mile, a rechargeable 20-hour battery and 8 multi-color/single color modes. This was actually one of the big gifts on my wish list last year that I received!

Any time of year you can save 35% off purchases at Nox Gear with my code BREATHEDEEP


3.      3.  Run Fast. Eat Slow. book ($24.99): This first book of recipes, wisdom, and stories from Olympian and marathoner Shalane Flanagan and chef Elyse Kopecky is not only a New York Times bestseller but also a personal favorite. They just released their third book Rise and Run so either the latest or this original would make a great gift. I love that the recipes are flavorful, nourishing, and delicious-perfect for any athlete looking to fuel their training!

4.      4. Motivate Wrap from Momentum Jewelry (from $18.99): Carry some motivation on your sleeve, literally, with a Momentum Motivate Wrap. These wraps are lightweight, come in assortment of colors and include an inspiring, fun phrase on each one. You can even customize a wrap for your recipient with their own personal mantra or a special saying.

Any time of year you can save 10% off purchases at Momentum Jewelry or Skirt Sports with my code LAUREN15


5. A pair of Lily Trotters signature compression socks (from $39.99): These cute and comfortable socks provide moderate compression (15-20 mmHg) and are easy to get on and off. I wear them running, post-run, travelling, and when working on my feet all day in the hospital. They never get itchy or uncomfortable plus they’re made in the USA and from a female-founded company!

Any time of year you can save 15% off purchases ($24.99 or greater) at Lily Trotters with my code BREATHEDEEPLY


7.      6.  OOahh Slide Sandal from OOFOS (from $59.95): You may be skeptical of these foam sandals, but once your favorite athletes put them on post-workout, their feet will thank you! OOFOS shoes include their patented OOFOam which absorbs impact, are machine washable, and reduce stress on joints. The sandals come in many styles and colors too so you can pick something to match your gift recipient’s personality.   (pssst, OOFOS is having a seasonal sale through 11/30 so go get started on your shopping!)

8.       7. The Stick (from $23.95 ): Since 1988, The Stick tool has been used as a handheld massage tool or “ a toothbrush for muscles” as its tagline goes. It is one of the first massage tools and muscle recovery tools I came across as a new runner (back before we had all these fancy massage guns and other recovery contraptions). I have the “Little Stick” for travel and a “Fuchsia Sprinter Stick” that I love to use on my legs, particularly my calves. Basically, the product is a stick with a center rod with little spindle parts that roll over your muscles. It’s really easy to use and travels well. It is a simple looking product, but it’s effective and durable. You can find the Stick products in many local retailers and on Amazon in a pinch.


9.8. Lightning Bead necklace from Erica Sara Designs ($48): I have multiple different pieces of jewelry from Erica Sara, but this specific necklace is actually on my wish list! This simple necklace with a lightning bead is a reminder to your favorite athlete that they are a powerful force. The bead is solid sterling silver and engraved to order personally by Erica herself. Erica Sara Designs makes so many great running and triathlon specific jewelry as well as other beautiful personalized pieces so there are lots of options to find a piece for a special person on your shopping list.


11  9. RUN sweatshirt from Sarah Marie Design Studios ($68): This cozy, soft crew neck sweatshirt with the simple message of RUN on the chest is the perfect addition to your favorite runner’s wardrobe for the winter months. I own a tie dye version of this sweatshirt, and the fleece is so soft and comfortable.

Any time of year you can save 10% off purchases at Sarah Marie Design Studio with my code BREATHEDEEPLY


1210. WhitePaws RunMitts (from $35): WhitePaws RunMitts are the warmest mittens I have found! These thumbless convertible mittens are super warm and allow for easy access to my fingers.  I also love scrunching them back up my hand if I start to warm up on a run (which helps avoid losing them!) There is a double velour version as well as a water and wind resistant version, both in various colors.

What is own your holiday wish list this year? What is a gift you are buying for someone that you are excited about? 

February 12, 2021

Things That Made Me Happy This Week 2/12/21

Hello! People still read blogs right? I'm trying to get into more of a productive routine so I'm going to start writing blog posts again on a semi-regular basis. What better way to start than sharing what is making me happy this week! As always you can check out my more regular happenings, thoughts, and photos via Instagram

This series "Things That Made Me Happy This Week" is inspired by a segment on one of my favorite podcasts Pop Culture Happy Hour on NPR. So in these continued strange times, here is what is making me happy this week: 


1. Tesalate Workout Towels

Tesalate, an Australian company who makes beach and workout towels reached out to me about trying out their workout towels just prior to the holidays right after I purchased my spin bike. I was desparately in need of some good towels to prevent myself from dripping sweat all over my living room (#homeworkoutproblems) so I was happy to try them out, especially after I saw the fun colors and patterns (seriously, look at all the choices). Besides the amazing patterns I received including Wild Ones & Cassandra , I love that they are antibacterial, odor-free, and dry super fast. Despite sweating profusely, they never feel heavy or damp. I use it to towel off my face and on my handlebars during spin classes. 

2. Peggy Makeup Headband

Peggy Makeup Headband
{from Ulta}

After watching too many beauty Tik-Tokers I finally bought a Makeup headband to wear when washing my face and applying serums/lotions. I don't know why I struggled so long with pulling my hair back and having pieces still falling into my wash as I tried to wash my face or wear a face mask. I bought this Peggy Makeup Headband at Ulta because it was leopard print (my favorite!) and cheap ($6.99), but honestly I love it. It's nice and soft on my head and does the job. 

3. Freaks and Geeks on Hulu

I am a huge fan of the short-lived TV show Freaks and Geeks. It's funny, it has heart and it features SO many now well-known actors/actresses. Yes I own the series on DVD but streaming it on Hulu is much easier! I've seen it all the way through multiple times so it's my current "put this show on and half pay attention while I do something else" TV show. 

4. Bravey by Alexi Pappas

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know I am a super fan of Alexi Pappas and consider myself a bravey (a part of a community she has created). She is an Olympian, runner, filmmaker, and poet who recently released her first book and memoir entitled Bravey. I am only halfway through it and already love it. It makes me feel all the feels and really is a story about life, not just sports. It touches on Alexi's journey with her mental health and her the moments that got her to where she is now. She has been making the rounds on some podcast so I also recommend listening to interviews with her including the Rich Roll podcast. She is such a wise soul. Find out more about Bravey and where to find it near you here

What is making YOU happy this week? 

November 24, 2020

Small Businesses and Organizations to Support this Holiday Season (in Maryland and Beyond)

I don't know how many times it can be said in various clichés, but 2020 has been a doozy. I'm trying hard to support small businesses and local businesses because I know this year has been extra tough for them. No shame in buying big box because sometimes that is just easier and/or cheaper, and I know it has been an extra tough year. However, I'd like to use my corner of the internet to promote some small businesses and organizations in Maryland (and beyond) that might not get as much notice during the holiday season. Just a reminder that there's other ways to support small businesses besides being a patron-spreading the word, sharing their sales and events, joining their email list, and sharing on social media are all helpful. 

Also be sure to check out my update Holiday Gift Guide for Runners (Under $30) post if you are specifically looking for gift ideas for you or a special runner in your life. 

To keep this list flowing, I'm going to share the link to the store, a brief description, and any important highlights. Most are Maryland, Baltimore based (all the local love from me always), but all are shops that I have personally purchased their products and/or plan to support this holiday seasons. Obviously there's lots of overlap between categories so please click around the entire list. I plan to add to it over the next few days (I have so many businesses I want to highlight!) Feel free to comment with another small business that I should check out! 

Maryland Makers

Also be sure to check out the Charm City Craft Mafia Holiday Heap 12/4-12/6 that is going virtual this year-it's a great opportunity to discover new local makers and purchase unique gifts for loved ones. 

WhitePaws Run Mitts: A favorite local business I'm always sharing that makes the WARMEST mittens for running and beyond as well as this year's new hot items-face masks and gaiters!

Rachel Mulherin: Stunning jewelry self-described as "bohemian glam vibe" that specializes in geode statement earrings. I own the butterfly necklace and evil eye pendant necklace which I adore wearing for special occasions and everyday. 

KSM Candle Co: Before the pandemic this year I attended an in-person candle making class which was a really fun experience. I have since purchased multiple soy candles in unique, natural scents. The shop sells their soy candles as well as other goods including DIY candle kits. 

Caddington Clay: Handmade polymer clay earrings from Megan in Silver Spring, MD. She started making polymer clay earrings in June this year and has grown in her business and skill so much. I love how fun her earrings are-making a great gift for someone else or yourself this holiday season. Last day to order for Christmas arrival is 12/16.  

Maryland Mercantile: A local maker offering Maryland-themed gifts and goods including cards, mugs, and kitchen towels. The MD Little Christmas Ornament is a personal favorite gift to send to friends out of state. 

Etsy Shops

AmyScripts: A custom calligraphy design shop that has lots of cute goods featuring calligraphy including kitchen wear, cards, masks and stickers. I have my eye on a few ornaments to gift this holiday season including her 2020 collection inspired by 2000s pop punk/rock music that speaks to my high school self. 

The Broken Plate: This shop by a Baltimore local offers handmade upcycled and repurposed jewelry made from broken china. You can send Juliet your china and she can turn it into custom jewelry. Check out her shop on Etsy and her website for more selection. 

Oak City Crochet: A shop based in Raleigh, NC offers accessories and home decor that are fun, unique, and all handmade by Megan including hand-dyed scrunchies and crocheted stocking ornaments. 

JamiCreatesThings: Jami sells whimsical doodles as t-shirts, stickers, prints, and more. I love her "Be Kind, It's Free" tees and totes as well as her beautiful stickers. 

SouvenirAndFar: Really cute shop with "retro-inspired apparel for down to earth babes". I love their affordable,comfortable cotton tie dye masks including the Philadelphia Eagles tie dye mask (retails for only $6)!

Baltimore Boutiques

Pandora's Box Boutique: My go-to boutique (located in the heart of Federal Hill in Baltimore) for one-of-a-kind statement earrings, home goods, and accessories. I recently bought a sequined mask there that is absolutely fabulous.  

The Codex Club: A boutique with clothiing, home goods, gifts and more from 50+ local artists. It's the perfect place to grab a Baltimore-centric gift or support local makers. 

Brightside Boutique: A go-to local women's boutique for when I need a small gift. You can shop in person at their various Baltimore-area locations or online for trendy clothing from nationwide brands sassy home wear, jewelry and more. 

Arrow Clothing: Trendy and affordable women's clothing and accessories from an online boutique. 

Poppy & Stella: Shop online or in-store at this boutique that is known for it's fantastic collection of footwear but also carries unique apparel, accessories, beauty products and more. 

Mint+Major: Local women's boutique (shop online or at their store at Shops at Kenilworth in Towson, MD) offering a unique mix of apparel, home decor, accessories, and more. 

Gifts for Her

Erica Sara Designs: Handcrafted, one-of-a-kind jewelry for the strong woman in your life including beautiful runner/race-specific jewelry, unique sound-wave engraved pieces, and custom jewelry engraved with your loved one's handprints, footprints or PAW prints (just melt my heart right now!). Order online by 12/14 for domestic delivery by 12/25! 

Food & Drink

Reminder to support your local restaurants and breweries this holiday season. Gift cards always make a great gift. If you have some fellow beer lovers in your family, a 6-pack and some brewery merchandise (t-shirt, hat, etc.) from a local brewery makes a great gift. 

Mouth Party Caramel: Delicious, small-batch caramels (free of nuts, gluten, soy, high fructose, and trans-fat) with yummy varieties including additions like sea salt and Old Bay.

Gundalow Gourmet: Check out their location in Whitehall Mill in Baltimore or shop online for yummy treats (HIGHLY recommend the chocolate chip cookies), gourmet goods, cooks' tools, and more.  

Cane Collective, LLC: Their Cane Mixers are a way to bring craft cocktails right to your own home-just add your liquor of choice! The mixers include varieties such as Guava Tiki Punch, CA(n)E Southside, and the seasonal Cinnamon Cider Punch. These would make the perfect virtual party gift!   

Services to Gift (To Others or Yourself!)

Dietician Jess, LLC: Jess is a dietician based in Pittsburgh, PA who offers nutrition counseling and wellness programs. I met her through running (what else?!) She is launching her next nutrition group program for runners in January (schedule a free discovery call here.) Gift yourself a head start on crushing your goals for 2021. 

Bushelers of Baltimore: Bushelers of Baltimore is a local tailor that offers alterations and reapirs of garments as well as garment personalization/customization. They now offer e-gift cards which could be a great gift for someone to alter or repair a piece that is special to them for a perfect fit or to custom a jean jacket to make it all their own. 

Maryland Non-Profits to Support

I love supporting my local community so I encourage you to find similar organizations to suppor that may be in your area. There are plenty of amazing national organizations out there who deserve support including:  ACLU, Crisis Text Line, Environmental Defense Action Fund, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital,, Center for Reproductive Rights, and Hope for the Warriors.

Sharp Dressed Man: This Baltimore organization has been around since 2011 and partners with local organizations to provide men enrolled in training programs with recycled suits for job interviews. Clothing is an important resource for someone who has been struggling and is working to obtain employment, not only necessary for the task but also extremely important in building confidence in someone. Sharp Dressed Man has provided suits to over 7000 men in the last 5 years alone.

United Way of Central Maryland: During the holiday season, this non-profit which helps local families achieve self-sufficiency accepts donations to ensure local families involved in their housing programs are able to celebrate the holiday season including gifts of clothes, books, and other items.

Maryland Food Bank: Due to the effects of the pandemic, more Marylanders are in need of food this year. The Maryland Food Bank provides more than 40 million meals to Marylanders each year and 93% of their resources go directly to their programs. I know this is a larger organization, however I feel that especially this year it is important to ensure that no Marylander goes hungry. 

House of Ruth Maryland: House of Ruth provides services and resources including food, shelter, legal help, and counseling to survivors of domestic abuse and their families. You can donate in many ways including donation of necessary items on their wish list.

Maryland SPCA: Animal organization out of Baltimore offering pet adoption services, education/outreach, humane care, and veterinary services with 99% of their budget coming from donations and program fees. This is not the organization from which I rescued my furbaby cat this year however I know many people who have adopted wonderful pets from the SPCA so they definitely deserve extra support during a year when so many have added new furry members to their family. 

Debriefing the Front Lines, Inc: A non-profit in Baltimore offering a variety of emotional support services for registered nurses and healthcare professionals across the US including the Heal the Healers Project and the Heal the Healers Daily Communication Initiative (appointments available here). The Daily Communication Initiative is where my friend and registered nurse Tara sends an originally authored daily text message of love and support to healthcare workers before their shift, opening up a conversation for the participant. Donate and follow along on social media. Tara inspired me to highlight non-profits in this post so sending her some gratitude. 

What is a small business you are supporting this holiday season? 

Holiday Gift Guide for Runners (Under $30)

Disclosure: This gift guide is not sponsored. Any ambassadorships or complimentary products are mentioned. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Hello, it's me....It's been a while since I blogged, but I decided to return and start with a new holiday gift guide under $30 all for the runners on your holiday lists this year. I look forward to adding to my little corner of the internet again in the new year.

Tis the season for gift guides! I know there's a million gift guides floating around the interwebs right now, but I actually enjoy getting inspired by gift guides for presents for others and ideas for what others should gift me for the holidays. I have compiled again this year my favorite gift ideas for runners (which basically is a list of my favorite items). Whether it's a friend or family member just getting into running or a seasoned marathoner setting big goals for next year, there is an idea for everyone.

1. This Tastes Like Wine Glass, Sarah Marie Design Studio ($16)

This wine glass has actually been on my wish list for a while. The 'This Tastes Like' Wine Glass a quality, etched glass for the runner and the wine lover in your life. It's a gift that you know the recipient can use all year round to keep some balance in their life. I love the subtle yet sassy running theme of the glass. You could stuff this full of candy or some running fuel to make it a fun, simple gift. 

Shop all of the cute clothing, accessories and more at Sarah Marie Design Studio here AND save 10% off your order with code BREATHEDEEPLY :)  

2. Believe Training Journal, Electric Blue Edition ($21.95)

I have been using the Believe Training Journals as a way to record my workouts and training for the past 3-4 years. I usually put the journal on my holiday wish list for my family, but was super excited  to receive a complimentary Believe Training Journal in the new Boston Blue color! The journal comes in other colors too, but I love this special color edition so much. Pro runners Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas created this journal which is inspired by their own training and racing.

It has lots of space to record daily workout statistics and thoughts as well as worksheets, quizzes, and lists which offer opportunities for education, self-reflection, and goal setting. Basically it is the perfect gift for the start of a new year with new goals and training cycles. 


3. Koala Clip, original ($28.99)  

At the end of the summer I took a chance on purchasing a Koala Clip as yet another attempt on my journey to find the least annoying way to carry my phone and apartment key on the run with me. The original Koala Clip is a sweat-resistant zippered pouch with a a magnetic clip that clips onto the back of your sports bra (or your waistband). It's machine washable and also insulates your phone from the cold. It is perfect for securing your phone, credit card, and keys when you are on the go whether you are running, biking, or at the gym. I have found it works on the design of most sports bras, and with the original Koala Clip secured onto the middle of my back with the straps from my sports bra, I almost forget I have my phone and valuables with me on the run! It's a great gift for a fit lady on-the-go. 

Koala Clip won't be running any special sales this holiday season and instead will be donating 10% of all sales to Feeding America from now through the end of the year. This makes me love the company even more. 

Lucky for you I still have a discount code to share to save 10% off your order with code "AC2020". 


4. S'mitten Holiday Lily Trotters compression socks, ($27.99, limited edition) 

I know I had the holiday Lily Trotters compression socks on last year's gift guide, but I'm just a big fan (and ambassador) of Lily Trotters compression socks plus I LOVE anything festive this time of year. My shipment of these holiday socks is arriving this week, and I can't wait to wear them! Compression socks are a great gift for the runners and fit friends in your life as well as anyone who travels frequently or spends most of the day on their feet such as fellow health care professionals. Lily Trotters compression socks provide support as well as keep your legs and toes warm all season. Take a peek at this year's limited edition holiday socks- they're perfect for spreading some holiday cheer this season.

The holiday compression socks are regularly $41.99 , but you can save 20% anytime at Lily Trotters with my code "SESERKO20" 😄

5. Motivate Wraps, Momentum Jewelry ($18.99)

I always mention Momentum Jewelry as gift ideas because their items fit so many occasions. I love their unique and inspiring pieces, which is why I've been an ambassador for them for years. They are beautiful and unique wraps for the fit friend or the inspiring person in your life. I love the look of the  Motivate wraps which provide really motivating pieces that would be great to start the new year with including my personal favorite "rise up". You can choose from one of the options or always choose your own custom mantra or phrase. Motivate wraps make a great gift for so many of the people on your holiday list. 

6. Double Velour Fleece RunMitts, WhitePaw RunMitts ($27.99)

With lots of requests for recommendations on winter running gear, I always mention WhitePaw RunMitts because they are my favorite running gloves. As someone who has perpetually cold hands and feet, these new & improved double velour fleece RunMitts actually keep my hands super warm. I love that it's a convertible mitten with the ability to flip the top down if you need to cool off your hands a little bit or use your fingers. They also can be scrunched down to your wrist with no need to remove and potentially lose one of your mittens!

WhitePaw RunMitts is a small business in Baltimore which makes it more special to me. The mittens come in the double velour fleece or a water/wind resistant fabric. These are an item that can be used by runners, walkers, any outdoor sports enthusiast, or anyone spending time outside in colder weather this winter. WhitePaw RunMitts also is offering face masks and gaiters this year-perfect for being safe this year while on the run!

7. Gift card to your local run specialty store (your choice of amount)

I've shared some of my favorite gift ideas for runners, but maybe you still aren't sure what to get that special runner in your life. Maybe you are like my family who isn't sure what running gear I already own. When in doubt, a gift certificate to your local run specialty store is a great gift option so the recipient can choose what to spend it on or even put the gift certificate towards a new pair of running shoes. If you are Baltimore-based, you can purchase a gift certificate for Charm City Run in-store or online (how easy is that!). Small business can always use our support, especially this year.     

What are you getting the runner on your holiday lists? Do you have or have you gifted any of these items?