conscious box

By now you’ve probably realized a lot of my finds come from searching my two favorite shopping sites, Rue La La and Gilt. Conscious Box is another purchase I scored for a great price on Rue La La just before Christmas. I absolutely love subscription boxes and had heard of Conscious Box before. At the price offered ($64.99 for 6 months!), I knew it was the perfect time to give it a try.

conscious box1

Conscious Box is a subscription box dedicated to sending you natural products each month. They offer three types of boxes: Classic, Vegan, and Gluten-Free, in two sizes: Taster and Plus. I decided to try the classic box to see what healthy/natural/ ethically sourced products I could discover each month.
My third box arrived this week!
When you open your Conscious box you’ll find a small booklet that contains information on your brands that you’ve received in the box. They’ll let you know a bit of information about each product and what the full size would cost. There’s also usually at least a few coupons in this booklet as well! Absolutely love the Kraft paper that my samples come wrapped in each month. So pretty!
Here’s what my February Conscious Box consisted of!
I love KIND bars but haven’t tried their STRONG & KIND variety yet so that is one that I can’t wait to snack on this week. The Wild Garden hummus snack pack will definitely be taken in to work soon as well (as long as Brian doesn’t get his hands on it first! We love hummus!)
We’ve found a few brands in these past 3 boxes that we’ll probably pick up either from the Conscious Box online shop or in store if we see them. Other than that this is just another fun way to try different things every once and a while! Has anyone else tried this box before? What were your favorite finds?

why even keeled?

I’ve been blogging for almost two months now and have been loving the therapeutic zen moments my writing has brought to my life.

I have always enjoyed writing and sharing ideas. I find that I tend to be an early adapter and eager to try newer things before they have become totally “mainstream.” My friends will tell you that I always seem to find interesting products and wonder how I found them. In my blog I hope to be able to share with you, my readers, some of my shopping secrets, products I’ve found that I’m eager for others to try, and little tips for life. Look forward to me trying different things and sharing my review!

So why “Even Keeled”? Even Keeled is a nautical term for stability and balance. Ships sail on even keel in calm, steady water. Growing up in a beachy town in South Jersey, I have always been happiest by the water. My love for all things nautical seeps into all aspects of my life including my home decor, fashion style, and even my attitude. When I was looking for the perfect name of my lifestyle blog- even keeled was a perfect nod to my approach to balancing my life and keeping grounded by the sea.

I hope to be able to share with you some of my favorite things and places. Also stay tuned for my progress on my 101 in 1001 days – my bucket list of things I’d like to accomplish.

A favorite quote of mine is “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”

I hope my love of travel, fitness, cooking, quality time with loved ones, and writing will help you to find balance in your life and inspire you to take action in doing something each day that makes you smile.

THON 2015- Empower the Dreamers


For all my fellow THON alums out there, you know this to be something we say year-round to always keep the message and mission of THON in our minds. But THON is actually tomorrow!

If you are unfamiliar with THON (the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon) this the 46 hour no-sitting, no-sleeping, dance marathon that culminates a year round fundraising effort of Penn Staters in the fight to eradicate pediatric cancer. THON is the largest student run philanthropy in the world.

“The mission of the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon is to conquer pediatric cancer by providing outstanding emotional and financial support to the children, families, researchers, and staff of the Four Diamonds Fund.  FTK!

THON’s beneficiary is the Four Diamonds Fund, based in Hershey, Pennsylvania. THON partnered with the Four Diamonds back in 1977 and has raised over $114 million to date for the fund.

During my time at Penn State I had the pleasure of becoming deeply involved in THON. I served my sorority, Alpha Xi Delta, for three years as their THON chair coordinating fundraisers, fostering relationships with our Four Diamonds families (whom I am still in touch with to this day!), and overseeing our overall involvement in the organization. As a junior I had the honor of spending the year as a Communications Captain. During this year I co-chaired a committee of volunteers and served as the main liaison for over 40 campus organizations and the THON organization.

I could tell about a million THON stories. By far my most cherished THON memory was being chosen by Alpha Xi Delta to be one of three seniors to dance all 46 hours in THON 2012. This was the perfect way to finish my collegiate involvement with THON. Dancing was challenging, rewarding, and inspiring. It’s a memory I will never forget. To all dancers this weekend, cherish every minute. Sometimes during the 46 hours you will be exhausted, time will be dragging and all you’ll want is to take a seat. But I promise you, looking back the weekend goes by in the blink of an eye. Soak up every minute.

Alpha Xi Delta and Tau Kappa Epsilon Dancers 2012- before
Alpha Xi Delta and Tau Kappa Epsilon Dancers 2012- before
Alpha Xi Delta and Tau Kappa Epsilon Dancers 2012- after!
Alpha Xi Delta and Tau Kappa Epsilon Dancers 2012- after!

To watch live coverage of THON 2015 (6pm Friday, Ferbruary 20th- 4pm Sunday, February 22nd) check here.

If you are interested in making a donation to this amazing cause, considering giving before Sunday. One of the best moments of the weekend is when the Overall Directors hold up the year’s fundraising total right after the 46 hours end. I promise it will give you chills.

Alumni can get more involved year-round through the Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group (DMAIG).

“One day we will dance in celebration. Until then, we will dance for a cure.”


coco-nuts for sbucks

I’ll admit it. I love stopping by Starbucks for the occasional chai or iced coffee. Maybe it’s the green straw? Or the way the baristas can never seem to spell my name right? Whatever it may be, I present my Starbucks gold card proudly whenever I make it in.. since surprising as it may sound there are no convenient locations for me to pop in on my commute.

Interesting news on the horizon for this coffee house giant. Vegan/paleo friends, rejoice! Starting tomorrow Starbucks be offering coconut milk as a dairy alternative! 

Happy sipping! Let’s see what a coconut chai latte will taste like.. maybe a new fav to add to the lineup?

new snacks: love with food

Well readers, I’m at it again. Just ordered Love with Food from Rue La La.

I had heard of this box before so I am anxious to see what yummy snacks we get to try over these next six months- plus I feel great knowing that my purchase will enable 6 meals to be donated to a hungry child in the US.

Here’s what I know so far: Love with Food is a snack subscription box with three different boxes to choose from– Tasting Box, Deluxe Box, Gluten Free Box. For each box purchased they will donate at least one meal to a food bank here in America. In each box there will be unique snacks that are organic or all natural. Boxes will follow a theme monthly.

Looks like my first box will arrive in March. Stay tuned for our thoughts!

If you are interested in trying this box for a discount, check out Rue La La’s sale ending soon!

As a referral from me, my friends are eligible for one free box trial here!

insiders guide to Pico Mountain

As promised, here’s my insider’s guide to visiting Killington, Vermont but more specifically Pico Mountain. The Beast of the East certainly earns its name. The resort is massive and I’ve always thought a bit too much for a group of people to enjoy skiing together. Sure the trails are amazing and the square acreage and vertical drops for Killington’s six peaks are appealing. But I’ve always loved the Friendly Mountain a bit better. Pico has the kind of atmosphere where “everybody knows your name.” It’s a home away from home for me and here are some of my best suggestions for if you find yourself there for a trip.

Best Pizza: Outback Pizza

Outback Pizza is an awesome place to grab a slice and a beer after a day on the trails. The laid back atmosphere welcomes in skiers and riders in whatever you wore under your snowpants that day.. or jeans if you’re like me and need to shower immediately after the last run. The pizza isn’t the cheapest (around $20 for a large pie) but it’s good! They have giant Jenga, pool tables and arcade games. While you waiting you can grab some fresh popped popcorn to snack on. As for the best pie, we love the Botcha Galoo!

Best Nightlife: Wobbly Barn

The Wobbly Barn has been a Killington staple forever. I remember babysitting all the kids on the trip when our parents would go here. Now I know the Wobbly Barn as a good place to sit down for a nice meal… or dance the night away.

Best Places to stay: Pico Condominiums or a private home

Growing up I was definitely spoiled in our Pico accommodations. We always stayed at a ski in-ski out home off of Sundowner on Alpine Drive. I cannot begin to tell you how much this is my absolute preferred way to stay while at the mountain. I love being able to strap on my snowboard after stepping a few feet out the door and head down the trail. It’s amazing to wake up in the morning with the view of the mountain and the base out your window. Not to mention the amazing (and scary dangerous) sledding runs we had going down the trails after dark… whoops?  If you can’t find a house to rent, the Pico Condominiums at the base are also a great bet. These are all near the lifts at the base and provide access to the Pico Sports Center. We stayed in a 2 bed-2 bath condo this weekend with 5 adults and it was perfect.

Best Green Circle Trail: Gold Rush

I love this trail. Even though I’ve snowboarded for around 12 years and have skied for about 6 or 7 years before that, I still enjoy this easy run. If you’e experienced it’s a great run to try new tricks or ride switch. For newbies this run is a must. Just watch out all, it does get a bit crowded at times.

Best Blue Square Trail: Birch Glades

I cannot begin to tell you how much fun we had on the Birch Glades this weekend. This trail had the perfect amount of snow and bumps for speed and a killer leg workout. Just be aware of all the trees in the middle!

Best Black Diamond: Sunset 71

To get to Sunset 71 you’ll have to ride up the Golden Express quad and then again up the Summit Express. From top to bottom this trail is long! Definitely one of my favorites.

here's our group at the base of pico on the last day of our weekend. we're already thinking about next year's trip!
here’s our group at the base of pico on the last day of our weekend. we’re already thinking about next year’s trip!

I really could go on and on about all the amazing runs at Pico Mountain. It truly is the best hidden gem in Vermont!