Summer Martial Arts Essential? – Duke Cannon Supply Co Cold Shower Cooling Field Towels

Back when I did an endurance bicycling event (my ONLY one in life, but 300 miles counts), it happened to fall during the dead of summer.  And, apparently, on the hottest days – the first 100 + miles was in 110 degree heat.

As a non-heat, and non-endurance athlete, I HAD prepared somewhat.  I searched high and low for cooling apparel, wipes, sprays, really anything that could help lower my body temp.  While I was somewhat successful (thank you FrogTogs), and though I’m not planning any rigorous outdoor events for mid-summer, I am always up for learning about new products that bring a little heat relief.

Duke Cannon Supply Co Cold Shower Cooling Field Towels are designed not only to get you clean (a necessary feature if you are training – at any time – but especially during sweat-laden summer months), but also to give a cooling, refreshing feel.

Per Ulta’s description:

The mountains of Afghanistan are not exactly equipped with state of the art plumbing, so a cold shower to escape the dirt, grime, and oppressive heat was never an option. Such was the inspiration behind Cold Shower Cooling Field Towels. Developed in concert with our military advisory panel, these face and body towels are manufactured with menthol, aloe, and jojoba to provide a chilling blast as they cleanse and protect. The perfect way to cool down and recover after 12-hour shifts, covert field missions, or back alley boxing matches.

As for the formulation, there are hydrating, exfoliating, calming and cooling ingredients throughout – these are definitely no bullshit:


Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Aloe Vera Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Extract, Cucumis Sativus Extract, Althaea Officinalis Extract, Oat Kernal Extract, Menthol, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Sucrose Cocoate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethyhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Phenxyethanol, Fragrance.



Fitness Humor – I Can Do It

Sometimes the muscles are a little over-ambitious.  They drag your ass to the gym early and push harder than *maybe* the rest of you is comfortable with.  

Enter the massage therapist, orthopedic doctors, infrared light, heat patches. . .

Gee! Thanks, Overtraining!

NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide

Superoxiwhat?!  I know…that’s a mouthful… But NIOD has some really awesome products and this one is worth a mention.

I love mists and facial sprays – not only in summer when the heat index is driving upwards, but also after workouts, after washing my face, even just after a bath.  Mists can offer a little extra hydration, element protection, oil control, calming effects, you name it.  The NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist is, however, a super-charged skin-saver…

This unique “dermal treatment” is designed to protect your precious peau (skin!) from “many forms of oxidative stress, dermal water loss and inflammation, all of which contribute to loss of visible skin quality over time.”  In other words, this is meant to be used OFTEN as a preventative protection, maintaining the beauty of your skin now, and staving off nasty age-causing aggressors.

Deciem, the parent Company, always goes well above and beyond with explanations – sometimes it is a bit much to read but I would rather err on the side of knowing more, than less.  The key technologies used include the below (and please do reference the link above for a full description of each):

  • Yeast-Derived Superoxide Dismutase (SOD)
  • Purified North American Four O’ Clock Flower
  • Marine Exopolysaccharides

The potent stuff is at the top of the ingredient list, which is always a wonderful thing…though again, I’m not surprised – this Company’s products are no-nonsense and definitely deliver. (PS: My OWN reviews – I have used some of their products and really felt they did what they intended – no one asked me to say that, nor would I boost a brand I didn’t really like!)

The bottle is apparently quite large, so you do get a lot for the money. Personally, I LOVE the ease of use of mists, and anything that might help ward off unseasonably early wrinkles and skin damage is GREAT by me!  Healthy, happy skin! 🙂

Humor (and Tips) – It’s HOT Out

The heat is definitely rising these days in the Northern Hemisphere – While past years have run higher, it is well above what the body is accustomed to regulating on it’s own.  It is therefore vital to stay mindful when the weather turns the dial up – lack of preparation can end (quite) poorly.

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I’ve sort of been feeling more lethargic, but I’m outrightly blaming it on the oppressive heat.  Still, I’ve toned down my response – I used to be more melodramatic about it…

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Now I just do my best to deal.  I won’t be caught with a frown on my face anymore, but I will be equipped with a giant bottle of water…especially when I’m training or working out.  

The Holy-Heat! Checklist:

  • H20 – Stay hydrated!  Everything from your core temperature, your heart, brain, and body function, to your skin will thank you.  So, SO important, and not to be overlooked.
  • Sunscreen – Wear it when you are out.  Reapply often.  I guarantee you aren’t wearing enough (neither am I! *slap on hand*)
  • Salt – This depends on the individual and personal conditions but…if you are an athlete in particular, you need to replenish your sodium and overall electrolytes.  Water matters, but be careful not to over dilute.

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Being stuck indoors during summer is a drag, especially when it’s “nice” out – but if the temp does creep up to “ungodly” maybe take a shade break too. Overheating is never a good idea, especially if you can prevent it.  And…you can!

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Healthy Choices – Summer

It is technically summer already (I kind of feel like I blinked – half the year over!?)  With the warmer months come tons of barbecues and outdoor shindigs…and with those, often a smattering of less healthy food options.  But there is always a way to stay clean (if you want to!), and to enjoy yourself.

A burger once in a while won’t kill you for sure, but when eating poorly happens consistently, it can start to weigh you down.  Literally.  

Not everyone is out to slim down for a bikini, but I think staying healthy, and at a healthy weight, is something that should be a priority for those of us with the ability to do something about it.  We have one body this go round!  

It’s also important if you have kids – not only do they eat what you provide, but they also learn by example!

The other day my love and I took a road trip to meet a new family member.  We had the wonderful fortune to spend time with family, and also friends of the family…and their four little ones.  It was one of those ultra hot summer days so we made sure to have water (and a slip-n-slide! 😉 ) in tow.  Hydration is HUGE when the sun is really beating down.  It has the added benefit of filling you up a bit too, which is great when in surroundings you don’t control. Perk!

Before we left, I had my usual poached eggs – a new market opened around the corner so we gave it a whirl.  What I really needed was some salt but…the seasonings otherwise were kind of neat (peppery powders and things – Looked mighty artistic!)  I appreciated the additional healthy-fat for a garnish…but I left it as a garnish because three yolks was enough for me!  Protein, in addition to the fat, is a great way to start the day as it keeps you fuller longer (and for a road trip, that’s always key!)


My lunch was baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, sliced turkey and mustard – more protein, fiber, and water to hold me for another few hours.  In the afternoon, friends brought out a summer favorite – sliced watermelon.  The juicy, sugary treat was just what I needed – a perfect, deliciously refreshing pick-me-up to counter the draining effects of the hot sun.  It does, by the way, contain a nice amount of nutrients – vitamins, antioxidants, lycopene…  Great option to a popsicle for sure!


There’s also nothing better than grilling on a bright summer evening, so that’s exactly what took place later.  I air on the side of being ultra clean, so I try to stick to plainer foods (for example, I prefer chicken breast that hasn’t been marinated.)  I don’t, however, like to make a fuss, particularly when someone is kind enough to have me as a guest!  In those cases, I will choose the cleanest food I am able, and work with that – it won’t kill you to have something off your plan once in a while, but you generally will have some choices.  

Just because you aren’t in your own home, you don’t have to feel like you are forced to make poor decisions.  You don’t have control over what other people offer, but you can always choose the foods with less sauce, have a smaller serving of more calorically dense foods, maybe have a little extra melon to fill you up…!  

For more of food I eat

Cover FX Custom Blot Drops

Sign. Me. Up!

I can’t STAND shine.  Summer is that time of year when grateful-for-a-glow turns to slick-skin misery!  Sometimes it is only perspiration.  But mostly I feel like I have a harder time staying generally mattified in the hot, summer sun and increasingly humid conditions…even when I’m not breaking a sweat, so to speak. Ugh.  No thanks! photo photo

So…I LOVE the idea of a drop formulation designed to help tackle the slippery slope that is summer skin!  Enter Cover FX with a new breed of Custom Drops (they have been rather successful with their liquid pigment Cover Drops, and other items of the ilk, such as skin-loving Infusions, over time so why not expand further?!)

Custom Blot Drops  give you an instantly matte complexion by balancing skin (especially the troublesome kind!) with oil-control ingredients AND acne-attacking salicylic acid.  Cucumber, papaya and chamomile tea up to hydrate and soothe skin, while the former few keep you clear and shine-free.  

The product can be used on its own or paired with any of your liquid makeup or skin care.  It is This product is “free of mineral oil, gluten, talc, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, DBP (dibutyl phthlate), and camphor,” just in case you’re wondering! 😉

I kind of feel like it is about time for this kind of item – mattifying moisturizers and shine solutions just haven’t made enough of an impact in the past (for me, at least.)  The one thing that has is a good ol’ blotting sheet…but I’d love to eliminate those while I’m at it. 

John Frieda 10 Day Tamer

10!?  I mean…I’ve heard of three…  I’ve even heard claims of up to 7 days.  But 10?  I’m impressed!

John Frieda is the frizz-kill king, as it were, having birthed some heavy hitters in the world of tress-taming products over the years.  His newest to the lineup, Frizz Ease 10 Day Tamer, is a pre-wash treatment designed to keep your locks under control for over a week solid.  It is applied to dry hair, left on for ten minutes, and washed as your normal routine dictates.

Treatments at the salon with Keratin can be lengthy, a bit high maintenance (you have to wait a day to sweat at all – for an athlete?  NO GOOD!), AND they can be costly.  So I love that companies are devising ways to bring us smoother strands (especially as the humid heat of summer approaches) that won’t cause us to break the bank.

Britishbeautyblogger gave it a whirl, so here is her review, for one!  The reviews online haven’t been stellar (or, in fairness, let’s say they range the gamut of great to poor)…but reviews are also few in number, as this is a recent launch.  Curious to hear more about it as time moves on, and it is available in-store as well. 


Kerastase L’Incroyable

L’incroyable is generally a positive, no?  Kerastase most certainly is!  The Company’s haircare is definitely on the pricey end but I have never had anything but incredible results from the Kerastase product lines.  

As a dancer, you are constantly having your hair twisted and turned, teased and sculpted, tied tightly and hairsprayed to oblivion – talk about damage!

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Kerastase always managed to revitalize my strands, and keep them soft and supple despite all the craziness they endured (and those performance undoes were seriously involved!)  This newbie, L’Incroyable Blowdry, features a “miracle heat-sensitive microwax technology” (S.R.S.® Microwax Technology) that allows you to set…and re-set…styles as easy as 1, 2, 3.  

Benefits include:

  • Extremely Repositionable
  • Unparalleled Shape Memory 
  • 96 Hour Extreme Anti-Fizz Control
  • 450° Thermo-Protection

I can’t imagine this won’t deliver – literally, everything I have ever used from the brand has done what it claims to.  I’m not sure I need a restyler…but it is a wonderful thing to have on hand if you have an event, if you need to make your blowdry last through a few long work days, or you are performing.  No matter the case, it is meant to make life easier…and in a fast-paced world, I am all for that!  (And ps:…I’ve never seen so lofty a claim with frizz protection – at most, 72 hours, already well over average!)

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Happy, Healthy Felines (Summer Tips)

I was thrilled to see Refined Feline’s lovely article for Summer Tips For Cats! (Though this goes for your canine buddies as well, or any animals in your care. You never know when the day will come that you are in a position to help, so having an overarching idea is always a great idea.

I don’t know about you, but I am not a huge heat fan!  Sometimes I think people assume every animal is going to do a-ok in extreme temperatures – they are better at adapting that human beings after all!

Well, they won’t whine when the air conditioner isn’t working necessarily (which I, myself, was doing recently – very immature on my part!)…and they won’t say “I feel dizzy and parched”...

B U T, while they CAN act more stoic than humans (and often do – I can think of several felines off the bat!)it doesn’t mean they are always feeling peachy and comfortable...or that they can’t run into trouble.  

It’s important for us to be mindful of water levels, for example, or any unusual behaviors.  These may include the more obvious, such as vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, breathing changes, and dizziness…  

But also look for changes in gum or tongue color (pink is healthy, red or pale is NOT) and any indication of feeling weak.  Such symptoms could be indicative of heatstroke and you want to address it ASAP.  The article above has more details about procedures if you suspect this.


Hydration is vital – yes, even with indoor pets, and especially with the older ones.  Make sure bowls are filled and throughout your home (I’m happy the link above made a point to say eliminate BAD water sources.  PLEASE leave the toilet seat down (or shut the door) – chemicals are extremely dangerous and should not be ingested, forget all the other awful things they could get from it.)  

Fleas and ticks may be more of an issue during this time as well for outdoor pets – make sure your flea control is up to date, and that you thoroughly check your “kids” for any ticks or tick bites.

And, whatever you do, never, EVER leave an animal in a car.  Even with windows cracked open, you could have well over 115 degrees…even when outside is 20 to 30 degrees cooler.  If you SEE this happen, call help – a quick trip for an owner may still be enough time to be fatal for an animal.  

Happy, healthy pets are the goal – they ARE family, and their safety is just as important!





Slash, Pun Intended

It’s gotten really muggy and warm lately…we almost skipped Spring, as a matter of fact.  

I love the weather no matter what it’s doing, because I just feel blessed to have another day (I also happen to feel that we are incredibly fortunate here in the Northeast to have all four Seasons…with a noticeable (gorgeous!) difference between them.)  

That doesn’t mean I’m comfortable in all weather, however, so it is important for me to dress appropriately (I’m not quite Nathan Lane in the Birdcage after hearing that he is “leaving,” but heat can take its toll on me without question.)

I wore my Slash tee to practice this morning – I commandeer the Dojang an hour or more before anyone else shows up, so I was able to go through my Kumdo form…in this lovely getup.  I enjoyed being able to work without getting too overheated before class.


That said, there are, despite my personal preferences, times at which being appropriate trumps being comfortable – in Martial Arts, it is expected that you are in the designated uniform for class.  The uniforms are a sign of respect, but also of discipline – I could liken it to a business man showing up for a client meeting in flips flops and shorts, instead of a suit and tie.  

You just don’t do it!

I had the blessing to participate in a 300 mile bike ride over three days for ALS the summer before last, and the first day was 110 degrees – I actually laughed because not only am I not a DISTANCE athlete, I’m also NOT a HEAT athlete…  

So nowadays, when I hear people complain that it’s hot out, I kind of chuckle.  At one time, I’d NEVER dreamed of doing a sport where a hot environment was necessary (do figure skaters even do that?! *lol*)  To train many hundreds of miles, and enroll in an event in the peak of Summer WAS admittedly a bit crazy on my part.  But…completing it convinced me that I am capable of surviving hotter temperatures without turning to a vampy pile of ash.  I may not be comfortable, but I can do it.


This morning a woman came to class wearing a tee shirt with her red belt – It was not my place to say a word to her about it, but did do a bit of a double take.  The class began, many moons ago, as a very casual and “health-oriented” one…but because some of us took the time very seriously, others have also begun to.  The wonderful thing about that is that we can train in a better way, but also help other belts work towards the next rank.  

When I see kids not retie their belts, but instead take them off as soon as they slip, I help them to pull the knot – wearing the right uniform is an important part of Martial Arts, and can (potentially) teach discipline and respect early on.  

I wore my Slash tee while working with my sword and stretching, but I had my Dobok on before the Grandmaster showed up for sure!  I love you, Slash…and you kept me cool…but I had to put the long sleeves on eventually…even if not everyone followed that unspoken rule!