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October 03, 2015

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60 Must-Read Health, Fitness and Happiness Blogs

Anyone-even a dog-can write a blog. Which perhaps explains why there are so many out there. But it's hard to know which sites are truly trustworthy, entertaining or informative.

 So the editors at Greatist scoured the blogosphere for you to narrow it down to these 60 standouts. They're keeping it real (no instant 
six-pack abs). 
workout good mood
They then checked out their frequency of posts, comments and engagement with readers, number of social media followers, and design quality to narrow down the list to these rock stars., you know?), using science to back up their claims, always staying positive and inspiring, and delivering content we can't stop reading and sharing ourselves.  Click HERE to read and save this awesome resource.

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September 22, 2015

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Why You're Sore After Workouts

Some people thrive on it, some people hate it, but if you're working out and challenging your body, you'll definitely experience it: the day-after muscle soreness that makes you feel a little bit like you've been hit by a bus.

Read more HERE about what exactly is going on and if you should change something in your workout.

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September 15, 2015

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The 5 "Hows" of Packing School Lunch for Picky Eaters

It's the time of year for lunch-packing. Parents of picky eaters may dread the thought of coming up with a balanced lunch for their kids, day in and day out. If you serve the same thing, you feel guilty for the lack of variety.   But if it's something new, it comes home uneaten.
Read HERE about the 5 hows that really can make packing lunch for the picky eater more rewarding, effective and full of variety.

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August 11, 2015

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Change Your Life With a Paper Clip

We all tell ourselves at some point that we are going to get in the habit of doing something consistently that is beneficial to our health, fitness, career or life. We start our new habit with motivation and then slowly we fade, make a few excuses and all of a sudden, your new habit has vanished.
The problem is, we assume we are dedicated enough to simply remember to perform the new habit every day. There will always be those days where you don't want to do it so something has to change psychologically to give us that extra nudge.  Click HERE to read an article by James Clear that provides a technique that might just be that extra little motivator you need to implement in your own life. It's so simple, but can be quite effective and it can be applied to anything in your life.

Unexpected Gifts

photoIn my six year journey of retail-store ownership, I’ve been blessed in innumerous ways – some predictable and some  not so much. I have a fantastic, dedicated staff that has helped brand Aries Apparel in the community the way it should be; always encouraging females athletes to be their best inside and out. I’ve met awesome customers and vendors who share their enthusiasm for our business with me and do all they can to support us, and us to support them. I’ve made the most phenomenal business contacts – men and women professionals who are uber dedicated to their businesses and are eager to learn and share and mentor right beside me.

And then there’s my true inspiration from the beginning -- the girls we’re here to serve.

One of the great business partners we have is Laurie Vizzini (see Laurie is an extraordinary girls basketball coach who coaches the whole player – meaning teamwork is paramount for her Oregon Extreme LViz Basketball Oregon Extreme LViz Basketball[/caption] girls, not winning. Now mind you they win (Laurie’s three NCAA Div. 1 basketball championship titles with Univ. Tennessee helps), but Laurie grows her girls into confident young women who can do more than play basketball. They will be able to play on the field of life. Since not everyone is an athlete, I’m glad there are other activities for young girls such as music and theatre and academics that provide opportunities for exceptional coaching and mentoring. My viewfinder is witnessing the benefits gained through participation in sports.

As part of her program, at the end of each season Laurie has her girls ‘interview’ (yes, even 5th graders) with local business owners. I’ve been honored to be one of those people. These young girls, ages 12-17, come in and talk with me, some with trepidation, some with strong handshakes and great eye contact and some twirling their hair while we chat. But they all have one thing in common.

lauriethreegirlsThese ladies have shown me their drive to be the best at what they do whether it’s being a student, a sister or a team player. They know who they are and where they want to go in the future and they are truly inspiring to me – every one of them. Then my part is easy. After we chat, I shower them in compliments and encouragement and reassure them they are on the right path. And they better stay there.   ;o)

Way back when I was planning to open Aries Apparel, my huge wish list included having a program in partnership with local high schools where we would have exceptional female student athletes be our eyes and ears in the clackhischools so we could really know what they need and want.   I’m proud to say, thanks to the hard work Laurie Bailey, we’ve just launched the Aries Apparel Ambassador program starting in the fall of 2014. We’ve chosen six outstanding local female high school athletes to be Aries Apparel representatives in their school with each girl having the opportunity to earn a $500 annual scholarship. We recently brought the girls together with our management staff for an introductory dinner.   Their stories are both amazing and humbling. 

Girl's ClassAgain, listening to the day to day of these young ladies and learning about their backgrounds (one  has experienced homelessness) and plans for the future is empowering and humbling. I certainly  don’t remember being so focused and driven at their age. These girls balance school, their multiple  sports, family responsibilities, friends and sometimes jobs with smiles on their faces and a 'what's the big deal?' attitude. When I list it like that it makes me a little worried for a healthy balance in their life, but they’re young and we grow (read: age) into balance I believe.

There are days I drown in insurance paperwork, HR issues and unsuccessful marketing campaigns. And then I think about these shiny-faced young female athletes and all their pride and drive and they are my gift and I want to do better – for them.


Rant from an Early Title IXer

Alex MorganUpon waking up the other morning, I opened my phone to check my “Google Alerts” for the day, to see what was newsworthy in the world of female athletes.  I always get excited when I see news about the Portland Thorns, as I am a true fan of the game and live in Portland! My love of soccer goes back to when I was on my first high school team, (yes, I AM that old) followed by playing on my University team, playing into my 40’s, and coaching recreational, high school and club teams for over 20 years.  Imagine my surprise, when I discovered that the “Alert” was asking if I could guess which Portland Thorns player was going to be gracing the pages of Sports Illustrated’ famous swimsuit edition!  She isn't the only athlete to appear in the issue - the WNBA's Skylar Diggins and surfer Anastasia Ashley are also featured.

ImageI must admit, the Title IX supporter/survivor in me was not happy…actually I was outraged!  I wondered if any of her past coaches ever envisioned this for the athlete they watched develop into one of our nation’s finest!  My thoughts took me to “how can this be, it is 2014?” How and why does female athletics still have to somehow fit into a man’s world?  We all know that those are not the kind of bathing suits that we see on any of our family beaches…at least not on Oregon Coast! Why has it remained at this level?

Before I actually brought out my keyboard, I happened to catch an interview of Alex on the Today Show, and heard her excitement!  She loved every minute of the shoot, and hugged everyone and thanked them for letting her be part of the issue...again!  It is hard to remain “disappointed” when you see someone with such happiness on or her face, or is it?

ImageIt is true that our professional female athletes do NOT share pay equality with our male athletes, so it is necessary for them to reach outside the realm of their game, to earn extra income, to help make ends meet.  Yes, she is in incredible shape, and I admit I would’ve loved to have EVER looked like that in my lifetime!  Of course, she has pushed her muscles to their limits, and asks an incredible amount of her body, EVERYDAY!!  Alex chose to do the shoot, as she is not only a professional soccer player, she is also a professional model. She is living so many young girls dream, by earning a “living” playing a game she has loved for many, many years. I guess I long for the day, when our young female athletes aren’t bombarded with the message that your looks are still going to be a part of your athletic ambitions. Let’s admit it, even in 2014; sexuality is STILL a part of the picture.

As it is every year, she will undoubtedly help sell millions of magazine copies, and get a paycheck for her efforts. Hopefully, all those young female players that admire her, and aspire to follow in her footsteps, won’t have to add donning a bikini to get there!  Remember, this is just my “humble opinion” that comes from a “seasoned” female sport supporter that has seen a lot of milestones accomplished during her lifetime, and would like us to keep moving in a positive direction, where athleticism and drive are enough for the young female athletes as they observe their role models.

Aries’ Staff Holiday Gift Favorites!

Kathy’s Pick: Nike Pro Capris $40

Fav tights!She loves these capris because they are so versatile!  She can wear them under shorts to work out, or under a long skirt when it’s too cold. They are comfortable and easy to move in. Fav tights!



Alicia’s Pick: Strideline Socks $14 “I love that two friends pooled their high schoolgraduation money and created a sockaliciabusiness! These city skyline socks are fun, they fit great, and the company is based in Seattle so they're relatively "local". I also love that Aries is supporting these young entrepreneurs. What started out as a lacrosse sock for boys is now a globally recognized all-sport sock for everyone. So awesome.”


Marianne’s Pick: Nike Ear Warmer Headband $18      Image Marianne loves these headbands for those cold runs during Cross Country season, or all year long! They keep her warm but also breathe well so she doesn’t overheat. Plus they’re reversible and come in fun color combinations.


Stephanie’s Pick: Hydroflask Water Bottle $24-40   “I am in love with my new Hydroflask.  ImageNot only does it keep liquids cold up to 24 hours or hot for 12 hours, but it doesn’t produce condensation, meaning my hands and fabrics stay dry.

Hydroflask also offers a lifetime warranty on all their bottles!”  



Brittany’s Pick: Sport Sweats $30 “I love the Boxercraft sports sweats because they areImage super comfy! They are great for representing your sport in a great, fun, colorful way at tournaments, school or home. If you’re inside or outside, they will keep you warm!

Makenzi’s Pick: Volleyball Pal $24 “I really like the Tandem Volleyball Pal because it is a quick and easy way to get some practice in. It comes in handy for those days where I don’t have anyone to practice with. ImageIt helps me improve my technique, form and game. The adjustable cord is good for different types of training. The fact that it is lightweight and flexible makes it very easy for me to transport it anywhere I’d like. Overall it’s a great way to focus on distinct training and very convenient for any time or place!


Tess’ Pick: Nike Free 5.0 $100 Tess loves these shoes because of the color! She has a few different pairs of the Nike Frees because they’re so comfortable and can be worn to workout, run or just around. ImageThis color is her favorite so far though! Hopefully this helps for all of your Holiday Shopping needs! These items can be found in our stores, or online. Want us to check if we have a size? Give us a call! 503.690.1900 for Hillsboro or 503.305.8467 for Clackamas Town Center!   And a happy, happy holiday season to you.