Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Beautiful Blogger Award

I was nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award by Sara, at Words to Run By, who has become a dear friend and who is celebrating her 30th birthday today, August 30th, 2012.

Please go wish her a very Happy Birthday... I know she would be so glad to hear from you!

Here are the guidelines:
  • Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and post it in your post.
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Tell all of us seven things about yourself.
  • Nominate seven other bloggers and comment on their page to let them know.

  • I have been wracking my poor brain trying to come up with 7 things to tell you about myself.  I have decided to tell you about 7 events that I recall from my younger years.  They have significance in my memory and I am happy to share them with you.

    1. My first puppy.

    His name was Cocoa and he was a mixed up litte ragamuffin... a  sweet little ball of dark brown fluff.  I adored him and packed him around everywhere.  The first time I left home I took him with me.  I was almost 3.  I am sure he sparked my life long love affair with dogs and this photo sitting illustrates my life long antipathy of being in front of the camera.  My Mother didn't purchase anything but the proofs.  You can see from the skinned knees and shins that I was not a girly girl... no wonder I hated this sitting and kept standing up to leave.  Look at my hair!


    2.  My 3rd birthday.

    At Sunday School, I got to put a penny for each birthday in a little white box that was shaped as a church.  And they had a cake for me and I remember blowing out the candles.  Afterward my Daddy and I walked downtown for ice cream.


    3.  My first visit to Santa Claus.

    I was 5 and my best friend, Gloria, was with me.  We had matching blue coats.  Our parents were the best of friends, and this gal is still my best friend all these years later.  Amazing to have a friend who knows everything about you.  She is the beautiful little strawberry blond.  I don't really recall Santa Claus at all.


    4.  My first Hallowe'en at school.

    In grade 1, I was allowed to bring a friend to our Hallowe'en party who didn't go to school so I took the neighbor girl whom I played with a lot. I don't recall her name - I was a fairy and she was a witch. I loved my costume and we did go trick or treating together with several other neighborhood kids on Hallowe'en night.  I have loved costumes ever since.


    5.  The birth of my younger brother.

    At the time I considered it a tragic day in my young life. I was almost 10 and totally Daddy's girl and felt extremely threatened by this baby boy entering my life.  I didn't see him for almost 3 weeks after my Mother brought him home from the hospital because I refused to look at him, until my Darling Daddy sat me down and told me he was there to stay.

    6.  My brother's first Christmas.

    Mark was born in January so by the time Christmas rolled around I had already taught him how to walk, and during that first Summer,  had convinced him to eat worms from the sidewalk after it rained.  He was saying a few nonsense words, had several teeth, and pretty much followed me around like a puppy. I thought he was pretty cool and took great delight in being his first Santa Claus.

    7.  My sister's wedding.

    I was 12 and was made to be a junior bridesmaid, much to my dismay. They ratted my hair and put a too grown up dress on me and I hated every minute of it!  But I do adore my sister and my brother-in-law. I look like I have a cake on my head in this shot!  The best part was that my brother-in-law had several younger brothers....


    So there you have it... some events that I am sure shaped my life!

    I am not going to nominate any specific bloggers at this point but if anyone would like to take part, please consider yourself nominated and jump right in.  I think all of the blogs I read are written by Beautiful Bloggers, and that means YOU!

    Do you have favorite childhood memories?  I would love you to share one or two.


    Tuesday, August 28, 2012

    Enjoying the Neighborhood

    I haven't been out for a run for several days now, but I have been swimming almost every day and have been doing lots of walking as well.  I love having this wonderful old neighborhood to explore... every direction we turn there is something new and amazing.

    I have finally gotten into the habit of taking the camera out with me whenever we go walking, and thought I would share some of the neat things we have seen these past few days....  hope you enjoy them too.

    Mama peacock (peahen?) and a pair of chicks.  They are about the size of chickens now.
    There are about 60 heron nests in the park across the street from us.
    This is the view from our balcony... herons and ducks on the log here.  That is a stone bridge in the background.  The picture is ever-changing.
    Fence built with a cutout around the tree trunk.
    I think this is a fig.
    The tourists love the horsedrawn carriages... we do too!
    Turtles on a log in one of the lakes in the park.
    Parasailing (gliding) over Juan de Fuca Strait.
    Do you take your camera when you go out for a walk?

    Friday, August 24, 2012

    A Swimmer in the Making

    My love affair with water began at a very young age. 

    The Summer before I started school, my family camped across B.C. to visit cousins in Vancouver. One of our overnight stops was at peach orchard in Naramata, BC, on Lake Five in the Okanagan.  I discovered sandy beaches and shallow lakeshores and warm, fresh water.  I loved it.

    Me, at the precocious age of 6, in the first bathing suit I recall... it was red and white.
    A few years later, I took a series of beginner's swimming lessons at an outdoor pool in our neighborhood... and by neighborhood, I mean that the swimming pool was close enough that I could travel there on a city bus without having to transfer!

    I took those lessons one Summer while on vacation from school... perhaps grade 4 or possibly 5.  There were 10 of them. I went for 10 days in a row... the swimming lesson lasted about half an hour and then my pool pass was valid for the rest of the day.  So, I took my lunch along and basically had my Summer vacation that year, at the pool, along with all of my friends.

    I know I learned to float there... and also to tread water.  Those skills have stayed with me all of my life.  But I don't remember really learning to swim.  I have always been very good at the dog paddle, which I think is basically because I love dogs so much... it is an affinity thing.  And it has served me well enough.

    The next Summer I put my teeth through my bottom lip when I hit my chin on the side of an outdoor pool in Gull Lake, Saskatchewan... tormented by older cousins who were good swimmers, I was goaded into learning something called a Seal Dive.

    Throughout the following many years I did sort of enjoy trips to various swimming pools wherever I have travelled.  I like to paddle around and play and splash to cool off and enjoy the sunshine.  And I have admired the athletic souls who swim laps in the early morning before ordering the first cocktail of the day.

    In our private villa pool at the Krystal Hotel in Puerto Vallarta.

    As for swiming in lakes and the ocean?  Not so much.  I learned that there are leaches in the shallower prairie lakes, and that the water is too cold in mountain lakes.  The sea is just too salty for my tastes and the sand can be annoying and dirty.  I don't even like to lay on a sandy beach.

    I do love to run on the beach, and walk or hike along the shoreline.... and occasionally I will even wade into the surf.  But swim, no thank you.

    I have, against my better judgment, been talked into little snorkelling outings while in Mexico and in the Bahamas.  One time I encountered morray eels, another manta rays.  Yikes!  I have also developped the very difficult skill of screaming through my snorkel while underwater!

    Sure I will come along for the boat ride while the rest of you go snorkelling.

    I do not swim in either a lake or the sea if given a choice.  At least without fins.  There are things there, you see, that I am sure want to eat my toes!  I have seen them with my own eyes and you cannot convince me otherwise.

    Yes, give me a good old lightly chlorinted outdoor swimming pool anyday.

    Doing some of my best work in Nuevo Vallarta at the Sierra Hotel pool.
    And at the Hotel Bel Aire in Puerto Vallarta
    After I bought the sailboat, I decided I should probably learn how to swim in case I ever fell off the boat.  So, I took a series of adult beginner's lessons at a local indoor complex.  Lovely it was, but because it was indoors, it reeked of chlorine and other chemicals and I hated it and the flourescent lighting.  And I barely passed the the course and got my certificate,  because it was all I could do to drag myself there one day a week between lessons to practice.

    I hated to have to drive to the pool, change into my bathing suit, shower, swim, shower, change, dry my hair, and then drive home.  It was so time consuming and such a huge effort.  And in a Northern climate, from November through March, very, very unappealing.

    The Captain and I did house and dog sit, for a couple of winters fairly recently, for a nice couple who winter in Mesa, AZ, and they have an outdoor pool... and we did look after their giant golden-doodle pooch for several days in July one of those years and so were able to splash around in the pool.. but swim?  I did try to practice a bit but not on a consistent basis. 

    But since moving off the sailboat and into this apartment, we have been blessed with a lovely, clean, warm outdoor pool... and it is hardly ever used!  It is shared by 2 buildings, each having 13 floors of suites... but we have never run into more than 3 or 4 other people there, and most of the time we have it to ourselves.  Joy.

    I can put on my bathing suit in the privacy of my own home, cover up, and walk down the hall, open the outside door and go for a swim, dry off and walk back down the hall to my own home, strip, shower and get dressed.  Love that. 

    This is the Summer I am really learning to swim!

    We have been going to the pool a few days each week and for the first several times, I just did my usual dog paddling...  but really worked at it.  And then gently, but assuredly, The Captain started giving me some coaching and some suggestions... and lo and behold I am actually swimming!  And I am loving it.  And I getting pretty darn good at it.  Well, he says I am, and I feel like it is getting easier.

    Under the little bridge to a small tanning island in the pool.

    At least I am moving myself across the pook without gasping for air and reverting to my dog paddle or flipping over on my back and floating.   I am learning the crawl and the backstroke, and when I get really tired, I am doing a sidestroke.

    The Captain knows me well enough to be very encouraging and not to critique my technique too severely if he wants me to continue... this is supposed to be fun after all.  And he is a great, strong swimmer and enjoys it so much that he wants me to be happy doing it as well.

    But I am so loving what this swimming is doing for my body!  It is a great aerobic workout, there is not a shred of doubt about that... but it is also a fantastic core workout!  My torso is getting leaner and sleeker and I love that.  So much.  And the shoulders and arms are benefitting too.  And I don't hate the suntan either.

    I always thought that if I were to ever add an event to a run, it would be biking and I might be interested in a duathlon,  But hey, perhaps there is a tri in my future?

    What do you think?  Do you swim?

    Do you suntan?  I think I look healthier with a bit of a tan, although these past few years I am making more of an effort to have less sun directly on my face.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    Very Inspiring Blogger Award

    Christy, who writes My Dirt Road Anthem, tagged me with the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Thanks, Christy... I could not have been more surprised

    To me, Christy is the epitome of fitness and strength, determination and perseverance.  And she is a very busy nurse, a wonderful caring Mother, and she is also an animal lover... which alone would make me admire her!  I am sure she is an awesome wife and daughter and sister, too!

    Here are the guidelines that go along with this award -

    - display the award logo somewhere on your blog
    - link back to the blog who nominated you
    - state 7 things about yourself
    - nominate 15 (or less) other bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs
    - notify those bloggers that they have been nominated and of the award's requirements

    I can't think of 7 things about myself that would be of any interest.. or that you don't already know, so I am going to tell you about places I have visited that I really love:

    1.  We got married at the Grand Floridian Hotel at Disney World in Orlando, Florida on a little balcony with just a JP and a photographer.  (You're not allowed to do that anymore!)  Yes, it is the happiest place on Earth!  It is also one of the busiest and noisiest places on Earth.  If you haven't been, all I can say is 'go'.  My favorite theme park there is Epcot ... I love all the national exhibits, especially Morocco and Japan ... and oh yeah, the wine tasting in France.  We have been to Disney World twice now and I would jump at the opportunity to go again.

    The happy day

    2. One day I came home from work and told The Captain that I had just booked us a trip to go snow skiing in Austria.  He was thrilled.  We flew to Amsterdam, Holland and then on to Frankfurt, Germany and then got on a bus for a short ride to Innsbruck where we skiied our butts off in the Alps for 10 days.  We spent 3 days in Amsterdam before flying home.  The skiing was wonderful... Amsterdam not so much... but interesting.

    Innsbruck is surrounded by 5 ski developments.

    3.  I grew up in Calgary, Alberta, which is about an hour's drive East of Banff.  Banff, Jasper and Yoho National Parks were basically my playground while I was growing up.  And after I left home and moved to the interior of B.C., we still came back to the parks to hike, canoe, ski, camp and explore.  I never tire of the beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains... and no I cannot yodel like the mountaineers but I do like hearing it!

    Valley of the 10 Peaks is one of my favorite hikes... on Morraine Lake

    4.  One of my favorite trips ever was on the spur of the moment to Copenhagen, Denmark.  I won a flight for 2 when I purchased some teak tables.  I had already used up all my vacation time at my job that year but I did manage to talk my boss into a 2 week unpaid leave so that I could use those tickets. We wandered around Denmark for 2 weeks, with a short day jaunt to Sweden for pastries, thrown into the mix.  I was delighted that the Danish women had large feet and I bought a suitcase full of shoes!  I never did get the tattoo that I was promising myself on Nyhaven Street... where the fmerchant marine sailors hang out!

    Hans Christian Andersen's house in Odense, Denmark.

    5.  I am always up for trip to anywhere in Canada I haven't been and in the Fall of 2008, The Captain and I flew to Halifax, N.S. where we rented a car and drove around the Maritimes for almost 5 weeks... put 8600 km on that little car.  The rental agency thought we should buy it!  It was an awesome trip and I had prearranged a week's stay at 5 different places including 2 executive suites, one cottage, one suite in heritage guest house, and a few days at a B&B to wind up... which we used as bases for our day trips.  We thought we might move out to Halifax one day... and I particularly love P.E.I. because the colors are so brilliant there - green grass, red earth, blue sky and black seas.

    Park Corner, P.E.I.


    6.  I pretty much love everywhere we have ever gone on our sailboat... shortish cruises through the Canadian Gulf Islands and the American San Juan Islands.  The anchorages and gunkholes are magnificent!  The sunsets, the beaches, the wildflowers and the ocean... I will never forget how much we have enjoyed all the wonderful and very different people we have met and shared meals with ... and all the fresh crab!

    Ready to cook!

    Moonrise over Bedwell Harbour, Pender Island, BC


    7.  When I was a kid I spent lots of time in the Summer with various relatives on farms in Southern Saskatchewan.  Both my parents came from that area and so lots of my aunts and uncles were still there when I was a kid.  I grew to love the wide open spaces of the prairies and the brilliant hot sunshine and the beauty of the oats and wheat and rye grains dancing on the wind, in the fields.  And I loved to go branding with the boys. I never did like the grasshoppers, though, or the frogs my cousins would catch and use to chase me.

    Near Piapot, Sask.

    Oh gosh, have I really gotten to 7 already?  I have so many left... but that will be for another post, I guess.

    So I am supposed to name up to 15 other bloggers to honor with this award... and I know many of the ones I would choose have already been tagged...  but the one blogger who comes quickly to mind and who I think deserves this title more than any other I can think of right now, is my friend Sara, who writes Words to Run By.

    If you are already familiar with Sara then I don't need to tell you why she inspires me... you will already know.  And if you are not familiar with Sara, then you should be.  Get over to her blog and read some of her posts right now!

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    Does Favorite Clothing Enhance Your Workout?

    When I woke up at 5:45 this morning, The Captain was already gone!  I tiptoed out into the living room and found him on the couch, waiting for the conclusion of the final round of a PGA golf tournament to begin.  Good grief.  I went back to bed.

    But before long I was up again as I really had slept long enough... I turned on the computer, checked my email, Facebook and Twitter acccounts while enjoying a leisurely cup of hot dark coffee.

    About an hour later I realized I was hungry!  I put together this bowl of goodness for my breakfast and let The Captain make himself some toast.  He is not a fan of my breakfast bowls although he did really enjoy a few slices of the fresh mango that I gave him to go with his pb&j.

    Fresh mango, ground flax, chia seeds, hemp seeds, dried coconut, raw sunflower seeds, freeze dried strawberries and a bit of almond milk on the top.    It was awesome!

    I have never had freeze dried fruit before and these strawberries came in a Healthy Surprise box that I won a few months back.... love them!  They soaked up a bit of the milk and tasted just like fresh strawberries.  But you could also snack on them, dry, out of the package, too.

    A while later I suggested we head out for a run... we have a busy afternoonn planned as I am having a bit laser surgery on both eyes today... and I am sure I won't feel like doing much afterward.

    We geared up and headed out for our usual 5 km loop around the neighborhood. It is a bit cloudy this morning and therefore a bit cooler... and I really enjoyed it. 

    W2 R26 @10/1 W3
    stretch 10 minutes

    When we got back, we did our stretching outside on the balcony... and I asked The Captain to snap a picture of me.  I love the outfit I am wearing today and had to show it off.

    This skirt is one I picked up on sale at Wal-Mart last summer and had never worn. I remembered it today and decided to try it out... such a great fit and I love the longer length of the skirt and the undershorts.  Light and soft.

    I am squinting, but ignore that and focus on the clothes.... and the huge tomato plants!

    Top to Bottom, I am wearing:

    Handful bra (of course you already knew that)
    Running Diva shirt in my favorite color
    George skort
    George underwear  !!
    Wright socks
    Mizuno shoes

    So off I go to get ready for my doctor's appointment but... I just want to know....

    Do you have a better workout or run when you are wearing clothing you really like?


    Saturday, August 18, 2012

    Who Won My @handfulbra Giveaway?

    Hurray!  It is Saturday and I was so excited to find out who won the handful giveaway!  Aren't you?

    I verified all the entries and then wrote out each name on a slip of paper, got The Captain to fold them in half, and put them into a lovely little bowl that we received as a gift from the people we house and kitty sat for this past winter... they brought it from Mexico and I love the bright colors!

    Then I got him to stir them around...

    And select one...

    and reveal it.

    Congratulations, Lynne!

    I will send Lynne a tweet and also an email message... she will have until Monday at midnight PDT to get in touch with me and claim the win.... if I don't hear from her by then, I will have The Captain select another winner.

    I know that some of you have told me in email messages and FB posts that you have already visited the handful web site and taken advantage of their awesome closeout sale price on these bras!  They are offering them at the unbelievable low price of only $18 each right now... better get over there and get yourself one or two before they are all gone.

    Thanks again to handful for sponsoring this giveaway.

    Monday, August 13, 2012

    I Really Am a handful ... Are You? Review and Giveaway

    For almost all of my life I was not a big fan of bras of any kind... and goodness knows I have tried a zillion different ones.

    Sports bras generally don't have adjustable straps and they all seem to be too short and ride up too high on my rather prominent rib cage.  The sleeker I get, the worse this problem gets. I am constantly yanking at them and pulling them down.  For the past several years I wore fitness/yoga tops with built in bras to avoid that situation and/or just put up with the discomfort and annoyance.

    Bras that are meant to be worn under clothing have been an even bigger pain for me.  To tell you the truth, I have gone most of my adult life without one!

    Many months ago I started seeing reviews and giveaways on lots of fitness blogs about a sports bra called handful.  Everyone that tried and reviewed them RAVED about them... and I wanted in.  I entered many many giveaways until finally, in January this year, I won one.

    I couldn't believe that this pretty little garment was really a sports bra.


    But, eager to give it a try, I wore it pretty much non-stop for the next several days and really put it through its paces.  I did lots of stretching in it to see if it would move out of place, or ride up, or chafe... and it did none of those things.  The fabric is so soft and so stretchy, and it absorbs perspiration and never irritates my skin.  I fell in love with this bra... handful... and have been telling everyone about it since then at every opportunity I get.

    I wore a handful when I ran my first half marathon in May... and I basically forgot I was even wearing it.

    The handful bra comes with removable padding for those of you who don't want or need it... and it comes with it's own litle mesh laundry bag.  Such a great idea.


    Since receiving my first handful, I have collected a few more... and love them all.  This is the only bra I ever wear now, and it is not only my sports bra, but it is my everyday bra as well.   I have finally found a bra that I am completely comfortable wearing, for hours and hours on end, under every condition I have come up against.

    I do launder them in the machine in the mesh bag occasionally, but mostly I handwash them and hang them up to dry overnight. 


    I am so excited to be able to offer you the opportunity to win a handful bra for yourself! 

    Handful is going to introduce a new line at the end of August so is currently offering this lovely current model at an incredible low price on their web site. They are closing them out at the unbelievable low price of only $18 each...  But I would like to give one to one of you!

    The colors and sizes that are still available are:

    Pink L
    Nude XS, M, L
    Cocoa XS, L

    So if one of those would work for you then please leave me a comment and tell me which one you would choose if you win.  Leave your contact email address as well.

    For a second entry, tweet this "I want to win a @handfulbra from @eatrunsail -" and leave a second comment saying that you did.

    The giveaway will close on Friday, August 17th at midnight PDT and I will select and a winner on Saturday. I will contact the winner by email and also announce it on this blog post.

    Good luck! 

    And if you don't win one, get on over to the handful site and order one or two for yourself before they are all gone!

    Why, yes, handful IS sponsoring this giveaway... but they didn't ask me to LOVE them!  I do that on my own.

    Sunday, August 12, 2012

    Running on Uneven Surfaces and a Special Smoothie

    I have been making an effort this week to eat more protein, and fewer carbs... grains in particular, so I started the day with a protein pancake...


    These have become a staple in my diet and if you are interested in the recipe and the method I did a post on my food blog  We can begin to feed...  a while back... simple, easy and delicious.  You can find the recipe on that link.

    This past week I got out for a couple of shortish runs around the park that is across the street from where we live now... the perimeter is about 3.75 km. 

    When I run around the park with The Captain, we actually run across the street from around the perimeter, because he likes to run on concrete or pavement when he can.  The park side of the route has several surfaces as you make your way round... paved pathway, bark trail, short grass where there is no formal trail and then an area where you must cross the street to carry on so that is paved road or concrete sidewalk.

    The last 2 times around, I have been by myself so I stayed on the park side to try out the various surfaces.  I think that the bark feels nice underfoot because it is soft to land on but I do think it makes me a bit slower than when I run on pavement or concrete.  There doesn't seem to be any spring to it.

    But I do like running on the short mowed grass.  I am aware that the surface is a bit uneven so it makes me lift my feet a bit higher I think.

    I was enjoying it so much today that I extended it just a short way and ended up running 4 km in 26 minutes which is quite fast for me.

    W2 R26 @10/1 W2
    stretch 10  minutes

    After I cooled down and stretched and drank a few glasses of water, I remembered reading this post at The Athletarian about a Blueberry Peach Cobbler Smoothie... and I decided to try it out.

    I asked The Captain if he would like one too, and he thought he shouldn't cause he hadn't 'earned' it but I made him one anyway... couldn't have him drooling while he watched me enjoy mine, right?

    All ready to whizz up!

    And after... look at the color!


    I added a bit of Splenda to The Captain's as he likes things a bit sweeter than I do... no sweetener for me.  They were delicious!  And with the addition of yogurt, very filling... I think lunch will be put off for another couple of hours at least.

    Check out Christina's blog post at that same link to find the recipe and also information about a giveaway ... a copy of Tosca Reno's EAT-CLEAN DIET Vegetarian Cookbook.

    Do you like protein smoothies?  What is your favorite kind?

    Do you run on bark trails or short grass rather than pavement or concrete, where you can?  Any tips for me about the bark trails?

    Saturday, August 11, 2012

    #Grain-free #Gluten-free #Paleo Protein Crepes

    These beautiful ripe berries in the strawberry planter in our balcony container garden inspired me this morning...

    to make some delicious and easy grain-free protein crepes. 

    I thought I would share them with you in case you hadn't seen them yet. They are made with a few simple ingredients, and are grain-free, therefore gluten-free, and also suitable for those of you following the Paleo food plan... if you don't put yogurt on top of them cause there is no dairy on the Paleo plan.

    I did blog about them a while back on my food blog We can begin to feed...  and my post has a link to the original recipe at Gabby's Gluten Free, along with some tips on how to put them together and some pictures of the process as I made them.  You can find my calculations for the Nutritional Information as well.

    The basis for these crepes are coconut flour and ground flax and eggs... they are high in protein and in fibre and heavier than a flour crepe.... but just wonderful.  They are not sweet at all so I like to put fruit on them and a bit of yogurt, but you could put nut butter or syrup or honey on them if you like.  I think they might be good at dinner too, with a tomato or creamy white sauce.

    Give them a try!

    I would love to know what you think.

    Friday, August 10, 2012

    Tap Water vs Bottled Water? What Do You Drink?

    Where do you stand on the bottled water vs tap water issue?  Do you have good drinking water coming out of your taps, or do you have to filter it?  Perhaps you prefer to buy bottled water to drink at home.

    We have been fortunate to always have lived where the tap water is of good quality.  We have never even felt the need to use a tap filtration system.  For years I have carried a water bottle with me, filled with tap water, and we never purchased water in plastic bottles until we bought the boat.

    The reason for that was a limited water supply when we were cruising for days or weeks on end.  We would fill the boats water tank with good, clean water from the tap at our marina before we left the dock.  And we would fill the two five-gallon bottles that we kept in reserve as well.  Those were for the possibility of a water pump failure... we would still have drinking or cooking water until we could get into port for repairs.  (Shower water was carried in our SunShower bags on deck.)

    As we got to know our cruising grounds better, we realized that many of the small islands that we were visiting didn't have good, clean water at their marinas, and so we would not use it to refill the boat's water tank.  We were not about to foul it with unclean water... so our water supply was often nearly gone by the time we would arrive back at our dock, especially on longer cruises.

    We started purchasing and carrying water in plastic bottles, to be used in case of emergencies and as added 'insurance' on our cruises... but I always felt a bit guilty about it.

    Now that we are not doing longer cruises, we are no longer buying bottled water and I have been searching for a new water bottle for my daily outings.  And I found a beauty!  Actually, a couple of them.

    I was recently offered the opportunity to try out some new WENGER Eco Bottles and I jumped at the chance.  I really liked the sound of them in the promo material. I have been using one or the other of my new WENGER Eco Bottle for the past few days and I just love them.

    They are made from virgin aluminum and have BPA-free liners.  And they contain no toxins or other harmful chemicals.

    The taller of the 2 bottles is a beautiful, shiny ruby red color and it holds a very generous 800 ml/27 ounces.  The Sporttop has several unique features:
    • removable protective cover
    • travel handle
    • quick open-close
    • safety valve to prevent fluid loss
    • inside straw to speed consumption
    The mouth of the bottle is wide enough to pop a few ice cubes inside and off I go!

    The other bottle is a black mat in color and is a bit smaller in volume - 650 ml/22 ounces.  It has a Dualtop that is unique as it has 2 parts:
    • the travel top needs only a slight turn to open
    • twintop adapter changes wide mouth to small mouth
    • each piece has a replaceable sealing ring
      These bottles do come in other colors and have an assortment of accessories such as carrying pouches, wrist straps, and cleaning brushes. And, replacement tops are available.

      Both of the bottles are a good fit in my hands. That makes them easy and comfortable to use.  And both of these lid styles are easy to attach to a belt or bag or even a back pack.  They fit bicycle water holders and also my running water belt.

      And because they are aluminum the cold water tends to stay cold a bit longer than in a plastic bottle, too.

      Here is what Eco Bottle has to say about their products.

      "Wenger by Eco Bottle is the newest innovation in wide mouth bottle functionality with a leak proof, triple lock system that is fast to close with only half a turn.  In addition there are 4 interchangeable tops to accommodate everyone’s needs.  These innovative, aesthetically appealing bottles are recyclable at the end of their lifecycle.

      Wenger by Eco Bottle has just launched in Canada at London Drugs."

      This morning we had to go to London Drugs to pick up a small filing cabinet and I wandered around the store until I found the WENGER Eco Bottle display. I was really curious as to the retail price of these lovely bottles...

      I was delighted to see that they are so reasonably priced.  The smaller bottle is $14.99 Canadian and the larger is $19.99 Canadian. I know that some of the other bottles I have considered were much more than that.

      And to add to the fun, there is a contest.  The blogger who generates the most clicks will win a “Go Green Fizz” Starter Kit and Sodamix Variety 12-pack by SodaStream ($212.00 value!).

      Just CLICK HERE if you want to help me out!

      I was given these water bottles in order to review them but the opinions expressed are 100% my own.

      Do you use tap water/filtered tap water or do you purchase water? 
      Do you use a portable water bottle?  What material is it?