Category Archives: Friends

My New Running Crew

I finally ran my first race in about 6 months.
I also have corralled enough girls to run with me to finally feel like I have a running group again!

I was sick for the whole week before the run with a cold/cough and had not run in 11 days…so my time of 28:06 was not disappointing in the least. 9 minute miles are what I consider a good pace…not my absolute fastest but good.
What made me unhappy about how I’d run this race was not my time…
But more how I felt running it.
I started out waaaay too fast and ran an 8:20 first mile.
And then died.
The final two miles, I felt weak and tired. My lungs hurt. People were catching me…
And passing me by.
It was a struggle…and not as enjoyable.
The last race I’d run in October was like this too.
Out too fast and died too early.
I want to be the one passing people….not the other way around.
It’s very defeating.
Doesn’t feel good.
It makes me want to train harder next time.
It makes me want to figure out how to run a race and feel good again.



Filed under Exercising, Friends, Running

Spoiled Sweet

Yesterday happened to be my birthday…32 years and counting.

Luckily I don’t feel old yet so I don’t mind birthdays. I still consider them fun. ūüôā

Well maybe that is because I am spoiled.

Although I’d like to believe I’m not rotten, just loved…haha.

Two days ago, I received this as an early birthday present from my mom.

Sweet. Totally wanted one and I’m already hooked. Just downloaded my first book (Hillebrand’s Unbroken – awesome so far!)

Then the night before my birthday, (he can never wait until the actual day, he gets too excited haha)

my hubs totally surprised me with this:
This is a 2011 B.O.B. Revolution…it is like the Rolls Royce of jogging strollers (in my husband’s words).

Up til now, we’ve had a $100 dollar “jogger” (I use the term loosely) from Target that was almost impossible for me to run with and at the very best just unenjoyable. When I would go for walks with my moms group, I was infamous for using my Graco snap ‘n go and all I ever heard was how I had to get a B.O.B.

Sure, ok. We’ll get right on that.

They’re only ____ hundreds of dollars.

I should point out that my husband and I tend to be rather frugal for lack of a nicer word.


For him to splurge on this incredible stroller for my birthday is a VERY BIG DEAL.

¬†And a sure sign that he takes my running (and his new ‘like’ of running) pretty seriously…which is pretty cool.

He also gave me these to unwrap first thing yesterday morning:

New running clothes!

I have really needed some new running clothes and particularly capris pants. I won’t wear shorts, but the full length pants have started to feel insanely hot lately (it’s been in the high 80’s!). So hot that I even got out my scissors and cut a full length pair the other day to get by…so I was super excited to have an actual nice pair of running capris finally!

Plus my mom and dad surprised me by sending another amazing gift yesterday:

My new Garmin Forerunner 305!!!

I could not believe that she

(I was gonna say ‘they’ but let’s be real, my mom picks everything out)

got me both the Kindle and the Garmin…it is way too generous…I called her right away to thank her

over and over and over again.

I was so excited that I took my new B.O.B. and my sweet girl out for a run first thing yesterday morning ¬†ūüôā

so I could have a few extra calories last night!

Totally bucking tradition (which usually consisted of some type of fat and calorie laden comfort food meal plus a huge cake or cupcakes for dessert), I chose to go out for sushi.

It was still a treat because I normally just get the super healthy rolls…so I figured I would live on the edge since it was a special day…still no sashimi though.

We had:

Albacore Roll

Baked Spicy Lobster roll

And Popcorn Lobster Roll

So I am totally aware that these are not healthy rolls haha…as you can tell by the picture. Although I did try to pick a lot of the topping off of them (I’d get just a little of the saucy goodness) and eat just the roll. Underneath it was basically a spicy tuna roll, which is a healthier option when you go for sushi.

Plus, we ordered 24 rolls altogether to split and we each only had 8 total. We had half of the popcorn lobster and baked lobster rolls to bring home for Joe’s lunch today.

So it was a splurge, but not like having an enormous helping of spaghetti and meatballs or chicken and biscuits like I’m used to.


Well that is another story. haha

I did want my birthday cupcake.

My favorite place was too far of a drive with a baby up past her bedtime so we went here instead.

I decided picking out one single serving dessert was better than having a whole birthday cake.

After staring through the glass cases for awhile, Joe settled upon the chocolate cake and I chose the red velvet cupcake:

Then we went to pay and saw this by the counter:

 It was as big as his hand!

And I displayed very little self control as my impulse buy turned into this:

I would have been okay with splurging with a cookie and half a birthday cupcake

(although definitely going over what I had planned on having for the night)….

but then my friends came over and surprised me with


(it was made with a new ice cream maker they got…cookies and cream…fudge covered oreos were one of the ingredients…enough said.)

It was the most delicious ice cream I have ever had.

And with the help of my handsome hubs, we ate





Oh well.

It was worth every calorie.

And although I don’t want to get into the thinking of, “It’s ok because it is a special occassion”

I do think it is ok because I rarely splurge like that ever anymore.

And I didn’t make a day of it…bingeing at breakfast, lunch and dinner like normal.

I made healthy choices all day.

Just had a tad too much dessert.

So no guilt today.

Just back to my normal healthy lifestyle.

Like I said, I am super spoiled.

I am super appreciative!

I had the best day!!!


Filed under Exercising, Friends, Running, Uncategorized

Halloween Party pics!


A shot of our living room…with halloween decorations galore…



The following pics of food are not healthy!!! (This was during a break down period where I, of course, wanted all unhealthy food around so I could gorge myself. Result – unhealthy, delicious food that made me put on 8 pounds in 3 days…no joke. Not worth it!)


Sugar cookies





Halloween themed chocolate covered pretzels:


Pre-party pics: (before the food is set up)


Dessert table:

(If you look closely you can see the eyeballs I made too…I forgot to take a real pic of them!)


Bar area: IMG_0456

Coffee/Tea station:IMG_0457

The gift basket prize we gave for the winner of the Best Costume award:


If you look closely, behind the gift basket are the favor boxes that we gave away to each couple that came to the party…they were filled with lots of goodies to take home and enjoy after the fact!

Our doggie, Frankie, in his motorcycle riding jacket and goggles:


¬†Pic of my hubs and I…we were the oh-so-politically incorrect “Cowboys and Indians” (singular but it doesn’t sound right when you say, “Cowboy and Indian”)

joe amy halloween

We had a great turnout (we are semi-new to California and don’t have a ton of good friends yet but we have been slowly building our group) and everyone got into the dressing up and had great costumes. Our prize for best costume went to a couple who wore Penguin costumes that were huge and hot and totally uncomfortable looking…and therefore that sacrifice won them the prize!


We are definitely interested in having another party next year…and considered this year to be a great success!

Anyone else do anything fun for Halloween?


Filed under Friends, Halloween Party, Uncategorized

Monday Menus

Quick post tonight, but here is the Menu for the week:

Monday – grilled steak and pepper kebabs


Don’t they look so yummy?? They were delicious! I love when my husband grills!

Tuesday – Chili with salad

Wednesday – Cheeseburger Pie

Thursday – Taco Salads

Friday – prepping for the Halloween party!!

So, I posted a couple of days ago about just trying to eat like a normal person, healthy but in moderation…well, I am pleased to report that I have done great!

I feel good. I feel in control. I don’t feel like I am a slave to food.

I am really taking the time to think about what I am putting into my body and trying to make logical decisions. If I want 3 gummy bears, I can have them…no guilt involved. I can’t have an enormous handful.

I am analyzing why I eat when I do…what makes it so hard to listen to that inner voice in my head telling me the right choice to make.

This has been the ultimate test…we got a big bag of dark chocolate covered almonds on Saturday. They are the perfect example of something that is okay for you, possibly could be even considered healthy, in small amounts. Our problem is that we buy a huge bag and eat it in one sitting.

Well, I set out on a normally very dangerous mission…buy a big bag…and




 each night.

Ha! 3…that’s crazy talk!¬† But believe it or¬†not, we’ve been doing it! and it hasn’t been as hard as I thought.

I get the “sweet” that I crave after a meal. But I also ask myself what difference there is for me to eat 20 rather than 3. I have the same taste after 3…the same satisfaction…only I don’t have any of the guilt or sick stomach feeling that hits you when you pound the whole bag! Eureka!!


I think I may be onto something. The real challenge will be…

halloween candy and the yummy food I am going to have at the halloween party. We’ll see.

I think I am up to the challenge.

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Filed under Dieting, Halloween Party, Monday Menus

Halloween Party Updates

So we have been busy putting together our preparations for our first annual Halloween bash…and I am getting so excited!

I have asked friends to bring a dish to share, but I am still busy planning what I am going to make.


I am insisting on doing all finger foods/appetizers. I have scoured the internet for the best recipes and have narrowed it down to the following:

1) Mini pulled pork sandwiches (sliders) with coleslaw:


2) Spiderweb nacho dip with chips:

nacho dip spiderweb

I found the recipe and pic on this website:


3) Some type of dip served in an acorn squash or gourd, similar to the one in the picture below:

4) pigs in a blanket – MUMMY style!

pigs in a blanket mummies

I also have a guest bringing ribs (AKA bucket of bones):


Then for dessert, I want to make something, but I haven’t decided what.


I have guests bringing the following so far:
1) Dark Chocolate Owl Cupcakes



2) A cake shaped like a pumpkin

pumpkin cake


I considered making some of my standard hit recipes and adapting them in some way to fit the Halloween theme…

  • my chocolate chip cookies with orange m&m’s
  • my sugar cookies (normally reserved for Christmas time, but just adapted by using Halloween cookie cutters) like below:


  • ¬†my peanut butter/chocolate chip bars but with added chocolate frosting and possibly creating¬†a tombstone or putting a candy pumpkin on top
  • or the same as above, but made with my homemade brownies


I’ve also toyed with the idea of trying out a new¬†idea for the night…

  • eyeball donuts (they are just donut holes covered in melted white chocolate and decorated to look like eyeballs)…they aren’t really a “recipe” because they don’t require baking, just assembling


  • halloween-style chocolate covered¬†pretzels

halloween pretzels


Also, here is some inspiration for my decorating. Amy Atlas is incredible and if I can put something together that is even 1/20th of¬†what she does, I’ll feel like a superstar designer!!



With Halloween (and our party!) less than 1 week away, I am getting so excited for everything to come together. I am going to spend all week doing all the prep that can be done ahead of time. I want to make any food I can on Friday night to get as much done early as possible. During the week I will be taking care of getting all of the decorations ready and going out to get any supplies that I need.¬† I will use this time to put together the m&m’s in the test tubes for the guests to take home as well…sort of like party favors.

m&m favor


On Friday, I will make the pulled pork. It takes about 5¬†hours from start to finish so I should have enough time. I will also try to make the pretzels because it won’t involve an oven as well as the eyeballs if I choose to make them, too.


On Saturday, I want to be able to spend the day cleaning and getting everything else done in terms of decorating. I will need to make the cookies Saturday morning. The only other thing I need the oven for is the pigs in the blanket, but those will be popped in last minute so they are hot and fresh.


Other easy prep will be:

  • putting together the taco dip
  • carve gourd and put in dip
  • put out tortilla chips and potato chips
  • make the coleslaw


Oh! and I forgot I want to make a punch! I am thinking of something in a black cauldron like this:



I am sooooooo excited!!! Does anyone have any good ideas for what they are doing this year???

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Filed under Friends, Halloween Party, Uncategorized

Halloween Party Ideas

So I am super excited about planning my Halloween Party this year. This is our first time, but I am hoping to make it the first annual Halloween bash! It would be so fun if this became a tradition.


I have been looking for some tips for throwing a kick-ass Halloween party¬†all over the internet…and this is what I have come up with:

Essential item #1: Costumes are a MUST…and make it fun! I already informed everyone that costumes were required at our party and was met with resistance from a couple of guests, but they’re all in. I think sometimes people just need a little prodding to act goofy and silly like a kid again…once they lighten up, they realize how fun it can be!¬† We chose not to do a theme costume party in order to see¬†a higher level of creativity, but that is another fun way to do it.¬†¬†Something else you can do to reward¬†people for putting some effort into their costumes is¬†to give prizes. We have less than 20 people coming to our party so we are probably only going to give a “Best Costume” or “Most Original Costume” title, but there are so many fun categories out there that you could do:¬†¬†Sexiest, Funniest, Most Original, Most Authentic, Scariest and Best Couple. You can even make up custom trophies or¬†baskets with Halloween/autumn themed goodies in them such as Halloween DVDs, kits to make caramel apples, autumn themed alcohol like pumpkin ale or just keep it simple with a gift card to Starbucks or a local restaurant. I even read on one website that they gave an award for “Drunkest Guest” and their prize basket was¬†full of coffee, advil and water. haha! I thought that one was great! I hope that next year, we have more people so that we can give even more prizes.


Essential Item #2: Delicious, fun party food! Now, to me, this is the number one priority, but that is because of my love for food. The good news is that for this halloween party, I am going to be having a mix of healthier foods that I can enjoy and the fun, yummy creations that I can’t (but that are fun to make!!) My menu is outlined in an earlier post, but I would like to note that I still need to ask a friend to make the creepy Edible Eyeballs (or deviled eggs with an olive on top!) and I am still contemplating making some yummy, I mean spooooky,¬†Spider Cupcakes. It is important to offer finger foods that¬†people don’t need utensils to eat. As people mingle, they want to be able to grab and go.


Essential Item #3: Theme/Seasonal Decorations РI have to admit, this is where I am stuck. I am not totally into the whole scary/creepy decorations, but more into the cool Autumn, pumpkin type decor. I did find one cool website with some pics that I am going to try to emulate for our party:

I don’t have a yard to decorate¬†ūüė¶

’cause I live in a 700 square foot apartment, but nevertheless, I want to use some of the ideas. I actually did the whole candy corn in the candle holder idea last year and thought it looked really great in my living room. I am going to try out some ideas like that again, but on a bigger scale for the party this time.



If anyone has any great tips to share for throwing a fun Halloween party, please leave them in the comments section!!


Filed under Halloween Party

Plane rides, weddings and cupcakes, oh my

So I flew home this weekend (home is upstate NY) for a good friend’s wedding…and it was really great! I prepped myself by listening to hypnosis/relaxation tracks on my ipod that were supposed to help me…but I found that my own mantra helped more than anything I heard on the Fear of Flying tape.


What is happening right now is not scary. What is happening right now is totally normal and not scary…and a crazy person could even say it is almost relaxing. If the plane was to start dropping out of the sky, i have every right to be scared, but what is happening right now is not scary.


That was my mantra and it worked and I feel empowered. This fear will not take over me. I will not let it. I did use some of the breathing exercises when I got nervous but mostly I kept telling myself my mantra, What is happening right now is not scary and it worked! Fear is very powerful and very real, but it is truly mental and exists only in your head…which technically means it can be controlled.


I am not over my fear of flying. I know I will be nervous when I fly again, but I also know I can handle it and the fear is not going to keep getting progressively worse. My mother and my sister have a fear of flying and so does my mother in law, so I know how real it can be and how scary it can feel and most importantly how it can affect your life.


I will not let it affect my life. I will still travel by airplane. I will continue to experience new things because of the freedom that being able to fly gives me. I will conquer this fear.


Sidenote – dieting has not been going well. Being at the wedding this weekend involved traveling (which means I get a free pass with eating for some unknown reason) and yummy wedding food and cake (mmmmm…my FAVORITE). Plus, we put on a friend’s mini-bridal shower tonight and I made homemade cupcakes. I had made a pact that I was not going to bake for the next few months – no matter what. But then they complimented my baking and asked if I could bring some “goodies” to the shower so how could I say no???


But alas, I know I cannot bake without eating some of what I bake…and that means batter, frosting, and finished product…so by the time the cupcakes were actually done, I had already had the equivalent of 3 or 4. No good. I have such a large number of triggers that make me go off…and when I go off, I go off big time. always. and i don’t know why or how to stop. I just know that I allow it to happen.


Joe and I say that we are “starting hardcore” tomorrow…but we also don’t have groceries yet since we flew back from NY on Sunday night so already I feel like I am making excuses for why I can’t have a healthy breakfast or anything good to pack for lunch. Maybe if I plan it out right now, I can stay on track.

I will have eggs for breakfast. I will order a salad for lunch. I will have the breaded fish for dinner with Joe. Not the greatest day  because I know that I would probably go over points-wise if I were to really count it. But it is a start and that is what I need right now.


Does anyone else self sabotage and make excuses for why it is okay to “go off” like I do? What do you do to stop yourself in those times?


Filed under Dieting, Fears, Friends