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Four Activities To Get Outside And Enjoy This Spring

Four Activities To Get Outside And Enjoy This Spring

While we’ve been enjoying spring-like (heck, even summer-like) weather here in Austin for a while now, we’re well aware that most of the country is just beginning to thaw out. If you’ve been cooped up with cabin fever and your last trip somewhere warm seems like forever ago, it’s time to come out of hibernation and refresh. With the trees starting to bloom, birds beginning to chip, and that all-around fresh spring smell in the air, try one of these four activities to get outside and enjoy!

1) Biking

Long walks are great, but try changing things up by hopping on a bike. Take the scenic route in the country or bike along the shoreline of a lake or ocean if you live near water. Another idea, why not go about your day-to-day business but sub a bike for you usual mode of transportation? If you live in a city, be sure to check if yours has bike share program which makes it so much easier.

2) Hiking

Celebrate Earth Day on April 22d by taking a hike to marvel at the beauty of Mother Nature. Check out the blooming spring flora as well as the wildlife coming out of their winter slumber. Pack some trail mix, enough water to quench your thirst, and your phone so you can snap photos along the way. The SPI H2O Venture Series makes it so easy!

3) Roller Blading

Remember how much you loved roller blading when you were a kid? Get that joy back and try it again. Not only is it great fun, but a great workout—just be careful and make sure to wear a helmet. Get the whole family involved and teach your kids how you used to spend your free time when you were their age.

4) Enjoy A Music Festival

For all you music fans, the season of festivals has begun! Big-name Coachella runs the second and third weekends in April with other events in all genres happening throughout the spring and summer. Find one that fits your vibe and make sure to properly prepare so you can jam out and dance without worrying about your belongings. We recommend rocking a Luxe for a look that’s sure to stand out in the crowd.

How are you getting outside and enjoying the spring weather? Tell us on Instagram and make sure to use the hashtag #freetobe

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Five Genius Packing Tips To Help You Travel Like A Pro

Five Genius Packing Tips To Help You Travel Like A Pro

Maybe you just started planning that upcoming vacation in the midst the winter blues or perhaps you’ve had it on the calendar since last year. Regardless, with a long, cold winter under our belts (bomb cyclone included) many people are finding it the perfect time to escape somewhere warm. But before you start haphazardly stuffing your entire wardrobe into a suitcase, take a minute to devise a packing strategy. By packing more efficiently not only will travel be easier, but living out of a suitcase will be no big deal. Below we’ve broken down our top packing tips that will have you feeling like a regular globetrotter in no time. Happy travels!

1) Choose Multitasking Pieces

Overpacking is a travel no-no. While you’ll want to have everything you need for all scenarios, accomplish this by packing pieces that do double duty rather than choosing to bring more stuff. Pieces that can be worn multiple ways give you more versatility to mix and match throughout your trip, allowing you to create more outfits with less clothing. Another trick is to keep everything you pack to a similar color palette to assure it can all be worn together.

2) Maximize Space

Once you’ve selected what you’re going to bring, it’s time to figure out how to fit it all in your suitcase. First, tightly roll up wrinkle resistant items like workout clothing, t-shirts, and jeans and arrange them along the bottom of your suitcase. Once you’ve formed this base layer, place folded items that are more prone to wrinkles on top and fill any extra space with small items like socks and underwear. Anything big and bulky, like a winter coat, wear or carry during travel. Not only will you maximize suitcase space this way, but you’ll help prevent creasing and wrinkles so you don’t have to spend your trip ironing.

3) Create a Travel-Only Toiletry Kit

Rather than trying to empty your bathroom cabinet and stuff it into your suitcase, create a travel-only toiletry kit to grab and go before any trip. Keep it stocked at all times with mini versions of the items you use daily so you’ll never be without something you need. Plus, if you decide to carry-on rather than checking a bag all liquids must be under 3.4 oz. as per TSA rules. A pre-approved kit will save you from getting stopped at airport security so you can start your trip on the right foot.

4) Store All valuables In Your Carry-on

You probably already know this one, but never put any valuable items in a checked bag. That goes for jewelry, laptops, your passport, or other expensive or sentimental items. Every time you check a bag you run the risk of it getting lost and you don’t want to chance these items disappearing along with your suitcase. Instead, always pack these items in your carry-on so they’re with you at all times.

5) Stash An Extra Bag In Your Suitcase

Between shopping for yourself and buying souvenirs for loved ones, chances are you’ll be coming home with more than you brought. In case you can’t fit it all in your suitcase or want to avoid paying extra for overweight luggage, always pack a collapsable duffle bag to use on your return trip. Believe it or not, on some airlines the cost to check a second bag is actually less than the overage fee for overweight luggage. You may not need to use the second bag, but better safe than sorry!

Are you heading on vacation soon? Don’t forget to bring your SPIbelt along and make sure to show us how you wore it during your travels with the hashtag #spibeltstyle!

 

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2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Find A Gift For Everyone

2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Find A Gift For Everyone

The best way to spread holiday cheer is by singing loud for all to hear…and, of course, giving gifts. Who doesn’t love receiving a well though out gift?! While the holidays are all about the magical spirit of giving to those we love, it’s easy to get stressed out trying to find the perfect present for everyone on your list.

That’s why this year we’ve gone ahead and done the legwork for you! We’ve put together curated gift guides full of items they’ll love to help make your holiday shopping a no-brainer. In fact, with our ideas you just might be able to check every single name off your list in one swoop. Ready, set, gift!

The Trendsetter

She always has the coolest things before anyone else and you’ll help keep it that way by giving her the Luxe By SPI. A stylish chameleon with cool metallic hardware, it seamlessly transitions from workout to chill out and beyond. Whether she’s heading to the gym, to brunch with friends, or even to a music festival, the Luxe fits everything she needs and always takes her look to the next level.

2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Find A Gift For Everyone

Clockwise from top left: Hat; phone case; wireless headphones; lip balm; Luxe By SPI; keychain

The Dog Lover

These gifts are technically half for the parent and half for their pup, but being a good dog owner is all about sharing. We promise both will think the SPIleash is a total gamechanger, and for good reason. With a built-in pocket to stash keys, phone, treats, and other personal items while out for a walk, mom and dad’s hands will be freed up for playing fetch or taking selfies with their number one pooch!

2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Find A Gift For Everyone

Clockwise from top left: dog bandana; penguin dog toy; collapsible water bowl; personalized keychain; SPIleash; Pooch Selfie

The Traveler

Cruising through airport security or exploring a new area is a whole lot easier when all their personal items are securely stored in one place and they can go hands-free. Our Large Pocket SPIbelt in this fun limited edition print is big enough to fit passports and even the largest smart phones on the market. Stash a portable charger inside and they’ll have everything they need, no matter where in the world they are.

2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Find A Gift For Everyone

Clockwise from top left: Packing list; luggage tag; Large Pocket SPIbelt; neck pillow; portable phone charger; universal adapter

The Runner

If you know someone who spends early mornings and late nights logging miles or whose idea of the perfect weekend is heading to a race, we can guarantee they’re going to love everything here! Our SPI H20 Venture Series belt features built-in gel loops and two removable water bottles to help keep them fueled on long runs. Throw in touch screen-compatible gloves and a mini foam roller to massage tight muscles, and nothing can slow them down this winter!

 

 

2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Find A Gift For Everyone

Clockwise from top left: Gloves; wireless headphones; foam roller; SPI H20 Venture Series; GU energy gels; Nuun electrolyte tablets for water

Still not sure what to get? Browse through our selection of SPIbelts here!

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7 Can’t-Miss Spots to Check Out in Austin  

7 Can't-Miss Spots to Check Out in Austin  

Are you heading to our neck of the woods for Austin City Limits? If so, you’re in for a treat. Not only is there a solid lineup set for both weekends, but aside from the music festival, you’re heading to one of the best cities in the world! Okay, we may be biased since Austin is our hometown, but there’s no denying that this little city has so much to offer. From fun things to do and amazing sights to see to delicious eats that’ll excite your tastebuds, there’s something here for everyone.

That said, we want you to make the most of your time in our hood so we’re sharing some our favorite places around Austin that’ll let you experience the city like a local. While we could keep going on and on, we capped the list at just our absolute can’t-miss faves, which you should be able to pack in over the course of a few days. Fair warning: don’t be surprised if you find yourself not wanting to leave come the end of the weekend!

1) Barton Springs Pool

When the weather is warm (which it is right now in October) Barton Springs Pool is the place to cool off. This outdoor pool is fed from underground springs so it’s always the perfect temperature year-round, about 68-70 degrees—talk about refreshing! Whether you’re up for a dip or just plan to lay out and soak up some Texas rays, don’t miss it.

7 Can't-Miss Spots to Check Out in Austin  

2) The Rowing Dock

If you’re looking for some action of even a great workout, head to the rowing dock where you can rent a stand up paddle board on Town Lake. Take in views of the city as you cruise at your leisure and then paddle down to Barton Creek to check out the turtles. Other things you’ll probably encounter along the way: people practicing SUP yoga, pups joining along for the ride, and fisherman in kayaks looking for their next catch.

3) Bat Bridge

Want to know how Austin earned its nickname, Bat City? Head over to Congress Avenue Bridge right before sundown to find out. Home to the world’s largest urban bat colony, up to 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from underneath the bridge each night from May-August and look like a cloud overtaking the sky! While most people stand on the bridge to check out the spectacle, we recommend grabbing a spot on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike & Bike Trail below the bridge (on the southeast side) for a truly incredible experience.

7 Can't-Miss Spots to Check Out in Austin  

4) JuiceLand

In need of a healthy pick-me-up? Local fave JuiceLand is the place to go! Grab a nutrient-packed juice, smoothie, or bowl made with fresh produce and superfood add-ins that’ll bring you back to life. They even have yummy vegan grab and go options if you’re looking for something a little more substantial. While there are 20 locations throughout Austin, we suggest stopping by the OG on Barton Springs Road which is conveniently located right down the street from Zilker Park (the location of ACL).

5) Mount Bonnell 

If you’re up for a hike, this is the one to pick! While the steep 102-stair climb to the top may look daunting, it goes by quickly and trust us, it’s well worth the trek. Once you reach the summit you’ll be at the highest point in Austin—775 feet up!—taking in breathtaking scenic views of downtown, Lake Austin, and the surrounding hills.

7 Can't-Miss Spots to Check Out in Austin  

6) I Love You So Much Mural

You know you’ve seen it all over Instagram and for good reason: the famous I Love You So Much mural is the ultimate “like” magnet. Stop by Jo’s Coffee on South Congress to snap a photo against the wall with your BFF, partner, or loved one. And while you’re at it, head over to the Greetings From Austin postcard mural (pictured at top), located at the corner of South 1st and W. Annie Street, for double the Instagram photo opps.

7) Eat Some BBQ

You can’t come to Texas and not eat barbecue! While some people stand in line at 6am just to get a taste of famous Franklin Barbecue when it opens at 11am, we get that you’ve got a busy schedule and lots to do. That’s why we suggest grabbing lunch at Terry Black’s just down the street from Zilker Park. No matter what you order, you can’t go wrong! Other delicious spots to check out if you have the time: La Barbecue, Blacks Barbecue (a branch of the famous Lockhart, TX eatery), Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ, Micklewait Craft Meats, and Lambert’s.

 Not sure what to wear to ACL (aside from your Luxe, of course)? We’ve got your festival style cheat sheet right here

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5 Activities To Unleash Your Inner Adventurer

5 Activities To Unleash Your Inner Adventurer

Photo by David Balanos

5 Activities To Unleash Your Inner Adventurer

 “It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves—in finding themselves.” French author and Nobel Prize winner André Gide perhaps said it best, understanding the innate need for adventure in one’s life.

 Adventure can be so many different things and no two adventures are ever the same. One thing they all have in common though, is that they provide us with the opportunity to move past our comfort zone to experience, learn, and grow. Whatever your adventure may be—starting a new job, navigating the waters of being a first time parent, moving to a new city—get out there and live it! Life is too short to walk the beaten path. Instead, forge your own route so that you might discover something much greater along the way. Say yes to adventure. Be curious. Try new things. Take risks. Stay excited. The unknown can be daunting, but the things that scare us most are the experiences from which we have the most to gain. Looking for your next adventure? Any of these five ideas below are sure to satisfy your craving!

 1) Take a road trip: Hop in the car, pull out a map (yes, an old school paper map, not your smart phone!) and head wherever the road takes you. Stop along the way to explore new towns, check out the local watering holes, venture into museums, and check out the scenery. Make sure you have a playlist stocked with plenty of good tunes and, of course, don’t forget the snacks! If you really want to go big, we suggest taking a trip down historic Route 66 or cruising the Pacific Coast Highway.

 2) White water rafting: Looking for something a bit more extreme? Strap on a helmet, a life vest, and grab a paddle. Navigating through rough waters at extreme speeds will certainly get your adrenaline pumping! Just don’t say we didn’t warn you about the amount of strength and endurance it requires—your arms and core will certainly be burning after!

 3) Hiking: Remember how transformative of an experience Cheryl Strayed had while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in her memoir, Wild? The fresh air, scenic views, and peacefulness of being in nature are quite the trifecta for centering yourself. Whether you go somewhere completely off the beaten path like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, or Banff or even just a local mountain or trail—get out there and get moving.

 4) Surfing: Heading somewhere with waves? Instead of sitting in the sand and watching them crash at your feet, why not try getting up on a board and riding them out! Even if you spend most of your time splashing in the water rather than actually surfing, the experience (and workout) will be well worth it. 

 5) Skydiving: There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as the rush you get when jumping out of a plane thousands of feet above the ground with nothing but a parachute separating you from free fall! Find places in your area to make the jump or go someplace new—after all, you can’t beat the view from that high up! Our tip: try it in the fall to check out the changing leaves beneath you.

Tell us about your greatest adventure with #freetobeadventurous and we might share your story!

While you’re here, make SPIbelt a part of your next adventure!

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SPIbelt for SXSW and other Festivals

SPIbelt for SXSW and other Festivals

sxsw-post-347x270 If you’re looking for something exciting to do during spring break in Austin, look no further than SXSW. This giant festival is chock-full of musical guests, interactive panels, and highly-anticipated film premieres. As exciting as SXSW can be; however, keeping your schedule organized can be stressful. Who wouldn’t get overwhelmed by all of the variety this giant festival has to offer?CONTINUE READING

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Video Review: PortaPocketGal

Video Review: PortaPocketGal

How to safely and comfortably keep your passport ON your body to avoid risk of theft or loss when you’„re away. Much more versatile than the nylon neck safes that can be susceptible to sweat bleed-through. Now you can eliminate having to worry about where to put your valuables while you„re wearing a dress or skirt and not have to claw through your chest area trying to retrieve your things. CONTINUE READING