Starbucks Pop-Up Cheer

Pop up at Starbucks for a free cup of jolly Joe! Starbucks is holiday hosting Pop-Up Cheer parties across the US offering a tall handcrafted espresso beverage on the house from 1pm to 2pm at 100 different Starbucks locations revealed every day through January 2, 2017. That’s 10 days of cheer omitting Christmas. So row it out and reward yourself on your way home. 

Find Starbucks Pop-Up Cheer Parties near you HERE

Your 2017 Planner

 Bring on 2017 because you’re golden! Goodbye 2016 because 2017 promises to be another great year. Now is a great time to get your 2017 planner in gear and really cull priorities so you can hit the ground running so you can really hit the water rowing in the New Year. My plan for 2017 is to cut back on the mundane as much as possible to create more time. I’m filling my planner with all the right stuff and leaving the mediocre behind. 

Never had a planner?  Check out this post from 2014 for a blast from the past that still applies to your present and future planning. 

“Before you cross the street take my hand. Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

-John Lennon, Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) from the album Double Fantasy (1981).

Boxing Day 2016

Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated the day after Christmas by members of the Commonwealth of Nations. It is a day notoriously known for sales much like the Black Friday after Thanksgiving sales in America. But for a few dedicated and feisty rowers, Boxing Day is another day to row despite the cold! 

Stratford-upon-Avon Boat Club established in 1874, proud home club of Paralympic Gold Medalist James Roe and Junior World Champion Camilla Hadland traditionally hosts a scratch regatta on Boxing Day. 

Henley Rowing Club holds the Henley Eights. 

Charlestown Rowing Club hosts the annual  Boxing Day Swim at Charlestown Harbour. 

Bedford Rowing Club holds Boxing Day Scratch Eights. 

Peppermint Bark

A festive recipe to share that has nothing to do with rowing except for being quick, sweet and on point. Enjoy!
Peppermint Bark

12oz semisweet dark chocolate chips. Smaller sized chips tend to melt more evenly. Use white chocolate or layer both for a classic striped peppermint bark. 

2t vegetable oil

1/2t peppermint extract

4 regular-size candy canes, crushed into small pieces. These work best because of the softer consistency.

1-Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2-Place chocolate chips and oil in measuring cup. Microwave on HIGH, uncovered for about 2 minutes to melt chips. Careful chocolate chips melt sooner than they let on. I tend to take the chips out early. Remove from microwave and stir in peppermint extract. 

3-Using a heatproof spatula, sprint, scape and and spread the peppermint chocolate into the parchment lined baking sheet (I tweaked the original recipe making a classic striped Peppermint Bark and completely cooled the first layer in the fridge before the adding second layer). Power ten sprinkle the crushed peppermint canes over the chocolate using your fingers to adhere any stray pieces.

4-Keep in fridge one hour or in freezer for 10 minutes until Peppermint Bark sets. Cut or break pieces as desired. Store in airtight container up to three days or up to a month in a doubled freezer bag.

Recipe thanks to Beth Hensperger’s Not Your Mother’s Microwave Cookbook, Boston: Harvard University Press, 2010.

National Free Shipping Day 2016

Check out to see if you need something from a list of 1,219 merchants offering discounts and free shipping in the US today. Brands like Marika, Cabela’s, 686, Puma, Under Armour and TREW are offering free shipping but check the list first to check for discounts and any additional codes needed to receive free shipping. Best of all, delivery is expected to be received by Christmas Eve, December 24 or sooner. 

LLBean, always a place for free shipping is offering a free $10 coupon with $50 purchase. And Amazon made its first successful drone delivery in the UK on December 7. The drone delivered a package containing a streaming device and popcorn taking a two mile journey in 13 minutes. 

Green Monday 2016

Oh me oh my, try not to buy! Green Monday is a lot like Cyber Monday and happens on the second Monday of December. Another prime day for shopping started by eBay who recognized a reoccurring surge in online retail sales on the second Monday in December. 

Here’s a few that may work for you:

In addition to a lot of Green Monday Doorbusters, Eastern Mountain Sports is clearing the decks with an extra 25% off select clearance and free shipping on everything.

JLRacing, always a favorite is running an Indoor Training Special with lots of bright colored unis even one spotted for guys with pink flamingos. 

Dick’s Sporting Goods offers $20 bucks off $100 plus other great deals to check out for Green Monday like 50% off select Reebok fleece. 

Although I’m staying with the love/hate relationship I have with my old Concept2 (love my erg, hate to erg), Costco is offering $100 off each of First Degrees Fitness Daytona, Newport and Pacific Challenge AR Rowing Machines through 12/25/2016. 

NordicTrack is running a Green Monday special on the RW200 Rower, an erg that actually folds for rowers on the move! 

Starbucks is offering a blue moon opportunity for free shipping for anything and everything using the code FREESHIP. You can also make an environmental impact while ordering a bag of the infamous Starbucks Holiday Blend. Starbucks is providing farmers in need with a free coffee tree for every coffee bag bought through December 14. 

Target is targeting deals in all departments with an extra 10% or 25% off for Green Monday.
Barnes and Noble has 15% off your entire order with code BNGREEN. Book on that!

Patagonia is offering 50% off last season’s favorites as Web Specials like the Dual Aspect Hoody.

Land’s End is offering 40% off everything and unprecedented free shipping. 

And to keep looking good, Bobbi Brown is offering 25% off everything through tomorrow with free shipping throughout the season.