Puffin Picks 9.7

A pier over the ocean

My August was filled with weekend races and mini-road trips. This relatively busy month lead to me being reminded of products I like but often don’t think of, and that my fairly high-functioning productivity system can be thrown out of whack when I’m taken out of my usual routine.

A pier over the ocean

Note: Some of these links are Amazon affiliate links where I may be compensated if you purchase items or click on the links. Read my full affiliate policy. I only link to items I have, use, or want and would recommend regardless of potential reward.

My personal affiliate link guideline: Would I recommend this to my mom?

Honey Stinger Products

I love GU for fueling on the run. It is my go-to brand for both gels and blocks.

However, I recently took part in two events that were sponsored by Honey Stinger – the Santa Rosa Marathon and the US Trail Running Conference.

While the common (and very wise) advice is to not eat anything new on race day, over the years, I’ve tried all of the major gel brands (GU, Clif and Honey Stinger) and I know I don’t have any issues with them, so while running Santa Rosa I took the chance to try out a few of the Honey Stinger gel flavors. I found the Acai Pomegranate particularly yummy. (Note: my stomach is not made of iron though, let us never speak of those vegan chia gels I tried once – bad on every level).

At the Trail Running Conference, I picked up a few Chocolate Mint Waffles and the Grapefruit Organic Energy Chews. I was popping the chews like gummy bears all afternoon.

Honey Stinger products
My Honey Stinger swag from recent events

Honey Stinger Organic Cracker N’ Nut Butter Snack Bar

I could have included these bars in the above heading, but they are soooo good, I think they deserve their own heading.

They are called ‘Snack Bars,’ but have no doubt, they are more candy bar than granola bar. These snack bars are Saltine/matzo type crackers with either almond or peanut butter dipped in chocolate.

Dangerously good.

I kept meaning to only take a bite of one, but then I’d end up eating the whole bar.


Honey Stinger Snack Bars.
Honey Stinger Snack Bars.


Day Designer Planner

For a few years, I’ve used (and love) my Me And My Big Ideas 365 planner. It’s a more free-form planner and I love the flexibility of it. However, that flexibility has a downside and I recently realized there were a few to-dos on my list that I kept ignoring.

Not helping were my August day-trips and weekend road trips to races which gave me too many excuses to escape my daily to-dos when I was outside of my usual routine.

I was in a day-planning rut. While I love my existing planner, I had to shake up how I planned my days, at least for a few weeks.

I am very particular about my planner pages. For this planning jump-start, I knew I wanted to have an hourly-breakdown (since part of my issues revolved around time allocation), but I also need a place for daily to-dos that aren’t time-bound.

The Passion Planner came highly recommended, but it didn’t have enough of a place for daily to-dos.

After searching through dozens of planners, I found the Day Designer. It has a great layout (both time and non-time bound!), and they have free pages I could download and print out, perfect for my few-weeks long planning kick-start.

I don’t yet know which planner will win my heart for 2019, but for September at least, Day Designer is where it’s at.


My TV habits have been all over the map lately. After the uber-dark and bloody re-watch of Hannibal, I watched the uber-goofy Eureka. 

Lately, I’ve landed somewhere in the middle with Grimm.

Grimm was on NBC for 6 seasons and is about a detective in Portland who has just learned he is Grimm, a person who can see the creatures that were written about in Grimm’s Fairy Tales (because within the world of the show, those creatures are real).

It is a surprisingly enjoyable show. It balances the dark, gory deaths (I can’t ever seem to entirely get away from shows with dark, gory deaths) with humor and sarcasm.

6 Seasons of Grimm are on Amazon Prime.


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