Runner’s World Hat Trick Recap


The winner of the #NYTough P & G Product Giveaway is Amy Laforte!

Congrats Amy and thank you to everyone for entering!

Recap time!

Runner's World Hat Trick

As tired as I was Saturday night after running the 5k and 10k, I made it a point to take out my computer and start jotting down some thoughts from the day, knowing that if I didn’t, I would totally forget some of the key moments I wanted to remember and share with you.

It’s hard enough sometimes to remember all of your thoughts and experiences that occur during one race; try remembering the details from three races that all happen within 24 hours.

topic tuesday running

Before I discuss the races in brief detail….

The access to REAL BATHROOMS at the start of all three races was just an amazing feature.

I did not use one Porta Potty the entire weekend!  

Not only did we have plenty of access to real bathrooms with little to no lines, we had the opportunity to wait indoors before the races began which helped keep us warm and comfortable.


In the Arts Quest building, there was even the opportunity to buy food like bagels, muffins, coffee and other stuff.

Arts Quest

I know I saw Porta Potties scattered throughout the half marathon route but thankfully I did not need one. There were also plenty of water stops with Powerade too (which I didn’t take), some gels available on the half marathon course as well as Twizzlers at some point.

Okay, on to the races….

The 5K:

Was I nervous? Yes and no.

I had to remind myself over and over and over again that this was the first of three races and although I usually start off as if I was shot out from some cannon, I could not do that if I wanted to successfully make it through the weekend.

In my head I kept repeating pressure off but we all know that a start line will still produce that race day feeling.


I am pretty sure I put myself in the 8 minute mile section of the corral rather than in the 7’s.

picky runner

We can ask Sarah if she remembers which pace area we were in because she was right in front of me!

I had a slight side stitch during the first mile which worked itself out by mile two.

Even with the side stitch, I felt as though I had more to give, that I should be pushing and speeding the heck up but I kept forcing myself to hold back in order to conserve.

And this race was over before I knew it.

I know there was a hill somewhere but I honestly don’t remember much.

Runner's World 5k

I didn’t shut MapMyRun immediately and it was off slightly from the official timing but you get the idea.

Finish time: 24:24

Not bad, right? I think this was only slightly over a minute from my last 5k finish time.

I definitely picked up the pace when I saw the finish line on the horizon because as much as you tell yourself this isn’t your typical race because you have a 10k to run in an hour and a half marathon the next day, it is impossible to see a finish line and not run as though you are in a race.

A race atmosphere will always bring out the race runner in you, regardless of how much you try to run easy.

The In-Between Wait:

This got a little tricky.

waiting by the steel stacks

Just hanging around the Steel Stacks waiting for the 10K. There was an indoor area with nice, clean bathrooms too!

I had a little over an hour to spare before the 10k started and my fear in advance was getting cold while I waited.

I always get cold after running so I planned my outfit early that morning for both races accordingly:

*Nike running skirt

*Lululemon Race Your Pace Half Zip with just a sports bra underneath

*Pro Compression Socks – new pair from the expo

pro compression

If you run and do not own Pro Compression socks, please do yourself a favor and order a pair. No need to thank me.

I chose the Race Your Pace Half Zip specifically for these races because I knew it would keep me warm yet not let me overheat and the cuff-over feature for the hands would be perfect while waiting around.

Not to mention, it also has a perfectly sized zippered pocket to hold a packet of peanut butter.

banana and peanut butter

I had a bottle of water and a few jelly beans right after finishing the 5k and then a little while later I had a banana with some peanut butter.

I am so smart, right?

I mean, I knew a banana would not be enough to get through the 10K which started at 9:30 am.

I had eaten breakfast at 5:00 am and I get super hungry every few hours, especially when running is involved.

I needed something besides carbs to satisfy me so a drop of peanut butter on each bite of banana was perfect.

During the downtime, I began getting sleepy and then nervous that I wouldn’t be able to run the race.

No, I don’t mean that. I was getting nervous that I would feel tired or burned out once I started running again.


I think when we finally lined up for the 10K start I put myself back by the 9:00 minute mile sign.

10k start

I kept forcing myself to take that first mile really easy and slow, telling myself to run like it’s my usual morning run through my neighborhood.

I kept saying, just la-de-da yourself like you usually do and ignore everyone else around you.

Forget that it’s a race. Remember that you just ran a 5k and remember that you have a half marathon to run in less than 24 hours.

It worked!

The miles were flying by. I was enjoying myself. It was nice to be running rather than pushing/working. Does that make sense?

I tried to ignore the time clocks because seeing my pace for the first mile of over 9:00 min/mile was weird for a race but I forced my brain to reroute the thought process and let it go.

Runner's World 10k

Once again, slightly off but you get the idea.

The hills weren’t bad. They were gradual and nothing crazy.

Before I knew it, we were at the six-mile mark and yes, it’s that last .2 that gets you.

I was pushing at this point because hello, how do you not when you see the big FINISH?.

Finish time: 53:44

5k and 10k medals

At the conclusion of the 10k, I took my medal for the 5k too.

The Half Marathon:

Of course I remember the most details from this race since it was the last in the series as well as the longest distance.

It was windy and colder (like in the 40’s I think at the start?)  so I threw together a slightly unplanned race outfit.

I knew I would wear the Run Inspire Crop II’s with Pro Compression calf sleeves underneath.

half marathon outfit

The fact that I keep sharing these early morning-my-hair-is-too-long-no-make-up-puffy-eyes-from-a-pillow-I -was-clearly-allergic-to-all -night is something I really need to think about or, hmm, not think about and just keep typing.

On top I made a last-minute decision to wear a short sleeve Run Swiftly with a completely random (and yellow) Gap half zip pullover thing which I bought on clearance at the end of last winter.

I can’t even tell you which style this Gap top is but I will say that it worked well for me. Comfortable, breathable, I wasn’t hot or cold and the thumb holes always make me happy.

The gray thing you see over the Gap pullover was my “throw away” thermal hoodie which I took off a couple of minutes prior to the start of the race.

The zipper broke on this hoodie like two years ago. I always save things like this on purpose to use for cold race day mornings since I won’t care about leaving it behind.

I  woke up with a crampy feeling in my right big toe.

I never had such a feeling before and I kept trying to stretch it out as well as hoping (praying) that it went away as I walked around prior to the start.

I kept having a pep talk with myself to remind my brain that PR times were not an option.

That under 1:45 was not happening today.

I had to keep telling myself that I just ran two races and this half was to be run as any other routine long run.

Pressure off.

I told myself to ignore the pacers with their signs if they bob up and down past me. Even if it is the 1:50, 1:55 and the 2:00.

It is mentally confusing to run a race and ignore the times you typically strive for (and strive against).

I did have a loose goal in my head of still finishing at two hours or under but didn’t hold myself to anything other than running where I felt comfortable and okay.

The energy by the way at the start of each race was terrific.

start of half marathon

The music was blasting and totally had everyone dancing.

Anyway, I think I started myself in the 8 minute/mile or maybe the 8:30 minute/mile section and felt great..until my toe was cramping a little bit more around mile two.

It was pretty uncomfortable but I wasn’t stopping. I figured it would loosen up and I really didn’t give it much of a choice.

I was to complete this hat trick even if it meant I had to slow down or walk.

Luckily my toe responded, loosened up and felt normal by mile three.

As for the rest of me, I felt terrific!  I was shocked by the pace I was holding and completely forgot I ran the two races the day before.


I even handled the hills pretty well.

They were gradually inclining on me but I didn’t mind because I knew I would appreciate the downhill that much more.

I knew the 1:50 pace man was behind me somewhere with his sign. At one point he scooched ahead of me during an uphill but I made my way past him during the downhill.

I was so happy during this race. The miles were flying by. I was running faster than I could have hoped for, honestly felt pretty awesome and was just proud to be able to run among the rest of the Runner’s World runners.

I think I fueled really well for these races (more on that tomorrow) and truly appreciated all of the miles I log each week, day in and day out.

It’s all of those random miles, the good ones along with the bad ones that prepare us for these races.

I could not have done this race without doing my routine long runs each weekend.

It’s all of those runs, as fast or as slow as I run them each time, that made my legs capable of handling all of this, including the hills.

Especially that hill somewhere around mile six. Yeah. That hill tried to get me. I thought it was over but it was one of those that just kept going.


But I did it. I made it.

I didn’t really want water but I grabbed sips every so often after mile five. I popped my jelly beans starting around mile six. Sometimes spitting them out, sometimes holding them until they dissolved and sometimes chewing them real fast.

I couldn’t even believe it when I made it to mile ten. It seemed to have gone so fast….but then somewhere around there it started getting to me.

Somewhere around there the 1:50 pace man bobbed next to me with his sign and said, “great job, stay strong”.

My response, “Um,  I don’t know about that. My goal has been to stay ahead of you!”

I let that go though.

Finish time: 1:50:17

It would have been nice to unexpectedly finish this race under 1:50 but I earned this 1:50:17 and words really cannot express how proud I am of it.

In fact, this 1:50:17 which was run on tired legs was even faster than my first half marathon, exactly two years ago to the day, at Hershey Park, where I finished in 1:53 and I believe 37 seconds on a course almost as hilly.

Have I had moments since finishing on Sunday where I tried to find the points in the race where I could have/should have gone a little faster in order to have come in under 1:50?

Of course I did, it’s the runner in me.


And one final though for today….

Thank you to my favorite Adidas Energy Boosts sneakers. You may have been the most boring-looking pair of running shoes seen throughout all three race courses, but you are indeed the best and I could not have done it without you.


With honorable mention to my just-about-burned-out pink pair of Boosts which played the role of understudy for the weekend.

See you tomorrow for What I Ate Wednesday over the weekend!


What’s the next race on your calendar?

What do you eat/carry with you during your long runs/races?

Tell me something random, this post took forever to write and I am out of thoughts!


Taboo Topic- Running Injuries

Are you superstitious? I am.

One of my superstitions is this fear of jinxing myself when it comes to discussing certain topics out loud.

You may have noticed that I shy away from a certain topic in particular….

Running Injuries


Ahhh!  I said it out loud! Time to knock on wood…

Aside from my random-out-of-nowhere-still-can’t-explain-how-or -why shoulder injury which occurred back in April 2013, I am able to run happy 99.9% of the time without any issues or discomfort to report.

And because I have no discomfort to report, I have no injuries to discuss. And because I have none to discuss, I live in fear of discussing that I have none to discuss.

From time to time I do receive emails from readers asking for advice regarding running injuries as well as tips on to how to stay injury free. They want to know what it is I do or don’t do to keep running without being sidelined.

At first thought, I haven’t a clue. I just do my thing.

But that’s not a great answer to help anyone so I gave it some more thought and decided it was time to face my fear of discussing the topic by approaching it with you this morning.

Just remember, I am no expert. Not even when it comes to myself. And really, do the experts truly know what will 100% work or not work every time?

How I Think I Run Injury Free

*The Right Running Shoes*

I know we have spoken a lot about finding the right running shoes for your feet and when to replace them but it is worth mentioning again.

When you are running in the right shoes for your feet, the world is a happier place.

Sometimes that nagging knee pain, odd hip feeling, shin splints, hamstring tightness and sore heels aren’t really injuries waiting to explode but discomfort caused by the wrong running shoes.

But yes, it is absolutely possible to end up with a true injury if you continue to run in the wrong model or a burned out pair of sneakers.

adidas energy boost

My feet on occasion may talk about needing a change of shoe scenery but at the end of the day, the Adidas Energy Boosts are their true love.

I am on my fourth pair and our time together has been just about seamless.

I used to experience pain on the tops of my feet after my runs which would linger into the next run as well as cause pain in other places because I would run a certain way to compensate for the discomfort.

I was always trying to readjust the laces to relieve the pressure or whatever the heck was going on but it never worked.

adidas energy boost

Once I switched to Adidas, the sock-like fit eliminated my top of foot pain for good. Not once since owning these shoes have I experienced that pain again.

 *I Don’t Push It*

Let’s start with pace:

I do use MapMyRun for every run and I have an idea of where my average/usual pace hangs out but I don’t force it upon myself and never really think about it much when I am finished.

I have weeks where I’m flying in the 8:00 min/mile range, days on the treadmill where I am in the 7:00 min/mile range and feel great dropping under 7:00 min/mile along with PLENTY of days where my best of abilities is averaging around 9:30 min/mile.

I do know for myself that if I clock in too often at a ten minute mile, my body is tired and shouldn’t be running. However, there are days where I feel like running at that pace so sometimes, it’s a judgment call that only you can make.

Sometimes I run knowing that I can push myself a bit more but I don’t even bother.

I am not seriously training for anything and if you asked me to run a half marathon this weekend, I know that I could easily do it and even consider a PR.

Would I like to run a half marathon just under 1:45 which would be a new PR for me? Sure. But I don’t run all of the time thinking about it.

While I do talk often about pushing yourself in terms of motivation to get out there, I don’t think it is smart to overpush your pace.

There’s a difference between running hard, running comfortably hard and overdoing it.

I try to avoid the overdoing it.

Let’s talk mileage:

There’s that 10% rule for a reason. Suddenly going from ten miles a week to thirty miles a week is a guaranteed way to get injured.

You should never increase your mileage more than 10% any given week.

I didn’t wake up running forty miles a week. I didn’t read someone’s blog, take note of their weekly mileage and strive to exceed it.

I slowly went from three miles a day to four miles a day to one day having six miles a day as a routine daily run.

My long run started at three miles. It slowly progressed over months, if not years, to where I am now.

Running too fast and running too many miles too quickly has been known to injure people and I don’t want to be one of those people. If that means I only run forty miles a week with an average pace in the nine minute mile range, I can certainly live with that.

*I Eat*

It’s no secret that I honor my sweet tooth and never deny a craving. However, I also pack my diet with the nutrient dense stuff that my muscles really enjoy for endurance and recovery.

I also make it a point to eat within 30-60 minutes following a run. This window is crucial.

oatmeal and yogurt in a jar

On the extremely random occasion that I miss this window, I feel the difference. I get a headache, my muscles are stiffer and my recovery later in the day and even into the next morning absolutely suffers.

Refueling with a mix of protein, complex carbs and fat is key to restoring your glycogen and blood sugar levels as well as giving your muscles what to work with in order to rebuild stronger for the next day.

You can certainly try to limit your carbs and caloric intake while simultaneously trying to build up your mileage and pace but I cannot see how doing all of that will give you much success, let alone keep you injury free for long.

Your muscles need fuel. Your body does lots of stuff on top of your running and survives on the food you give it.

And you need water. Are you drinking enough water? Add a glass to that answer.

*I Get My Period*

How many times do I need to say that a healthy menstrual cycle is a good sign of a healthy body?

Did you know that not having a regular menstrual cycle leaves you more susceptible to injuries, stress fractures and guess what else – osteoporosis.

Trust me. I understand that life seems easier when your calendar doesn’t run by a 28 day cycle but when your hormones aren’t circulating, rising, falling and giving you a need for tampons, your body is basically telling you things are not okay.

I have dealt with amenorrhea which we have talked about a lot already so I will just give one more point on the subject:

I didn’t need to stop exercising. I didn’t need to decrease my intensity or consider less mileage (not that I ran as much as now when I didn’t get a normal cycle but just go with this for a minute).

The problem came about because I was not giving my body the amount of energy (calories) it required to expend the amount of energy (exercise) I desired.

Even if you think you are fine and it doesn’t matter because you don’t want to have a baby right now, it’s not fine.

Just because you don’t see the effects of not having a regular cycle on the outside does not mean your insides aren’t screaming all out of whack about to snap or twist or fracture or sprain.

I got real lucky back in the day to not hurt myself. It’s not something I would want to toy with again.

I hate being so brutal about this topic but sometimes, until you read it in black and white, you don’t see the severity of the issue.

*Rest & Recover*

Not only do I make sure to lay down for a bit after a hard run, I always recover with my Pro Compression Calf Sleeves.

pro compression calf sleeves

Some products are just gimics and then some products really work. There’s a major difference in how my legs feel after recovering in my Pro Compression calf sleeves compared to the days before I started using them.

I also make sure to sleep a good seven to eight hours a night. Of course some nights are less but plenty are more.

*Ignorance Is Not Bliss*

Sometimes I am all for keeping my head in the sand but not when it comes to my running.

If I feel something…anything…a twinge, a tightness…the start of a soreness….I attempt to find the root of the issue.

Is it my shoe? Is it time for a new pair? Did I run too many days in a row? Did I sleep funny? Did I forget to eat a sweet potato? Do I need pineapple?

I can usually figure out the issue and nip it in the bud fairly quickly.

I guess the point I am trying to make here is that I don’t push through pain or discomfort.

I know the difference in me when it’s simply a matter of loosening up and when it’s a matter of STOP.

Other random runner tidbits about me:

I don’t foam roll. Maybe I should but I don’t.

I do stretch but nothing crazy.

I do crosstrain but probably not enough.

Does Pure Barre help to keep my muscles working and injuries at bay? Maybe. I like to think so.

Protein bars are not a regular part of my diet; I like Skoop but don’t drink shakes and smoothies as my recovery meals.

I rarely eat pasta.

I don’t get sick often at all (knock on wood again!) but on the rare occasion that I do, if it’s more than a slight cold, I don’t push myself to run. If I don’t feel well, how the heck could I possibly run?!

I am not a big drinker. A glass or two of wine on occasion but it’s not on my regular menu.

I fuel with jelly beans or raisins during my long runs but truly wonder if they help or just taste nice.

Could it be genetics?

I don’t really know.

I mean, my dad was a runner. A three-time New York City Marathoner along with a crazy amount of random Long Island races and half marathons.

He also has terrible-horrendous-awful-need-to-be replaced knees and a runner’s toe (we still don’t know what that means but we let him say he has one) and did the absolute opposite of everything I have listed above.

I really don’t know if there is a tried and true way to stay injury free.

I think it’s more of a routine to follow for yourself. To know your limits. To know what is healthy and probably what’s not such a good idea. To not look to be some hero and not care so much about hitting a pace before you are capable or hitting it too often that you are overdoing it.

And then maybe walk around with a rabbit’s foot or a crystal in your pocket to bring you some extra luck.

If you ever have a question, please feel free to email me, I may not have the answer but I do love to ramble on and chat anyway!


Are you superstitious?

Favorite post-run recovery meal?

Do you do anything in particular to help prevent injuries?



Pure Barre From Home!


The other day we talked about retraining our brains. One area in which my brain really needed to be retrained was in regards to at-home workouts.

Although I enjoyed the infomercials, I never Sweat To The Oldies with Richard Simmons because I always preferred to go to a gym for a group fitness class than attempt to hold one in my living room.

And don’t even ask me if I download or view workouts on my computer or through YouTube channels (is that even how you say it?!)

I struggle enough with accepting that my DVD Player is actually the Play Station 4 to the point where I walk around cursing/reminiscing about how easy life once was back when we owned a VCR with actual buttons which said PLAY, STOP, REWIND and EJECT.

Everything has started to change though since I fell in love with Pure Barre over the summer.

pure barre dvd

Is it just me or is it weird that the remote for my DVD player is a video game controller?

I loved attending the classes twice a week at my local Pure Barre studio. I loved how the routine made my muscles feel as well as the changes I noticed in myself both in my strength and appearance within a matter of just twelve classes.

What I didn’t love was the price per class after the new client special expired.

I can usually rationalize any expenditure but even better than that, I have a knack for balancing out the indulgent expenses with thrifty purchases.

A good pair of Chanel shoes paired with a marked-down Aqua dress from Bloomingdales during Private Sale plus triple points is always a win-win.

With all of the fall expenses coming out of my check book (back-to-school clothes, winter coats, my son’s birthday, Hanukkah approaching, sports registrations, PTA dues, Hebrew school…) there was no way I was able rationalize a Pure Barre package.

But the Pure Barre DVD’s can balance the budget nicely and keep me lifting, toning and burning!

pure barre mile high dvd

I forced my brain to understand that it was time to not only invest in a Pure Barre DVD set, but to invest the time and commitment into making these DVD’s work for me from home.

pure barre from home

That’s it right there folks — Investing the time and making the commitment.

If you want it bad enough, you are going to stick to it.

It’s just like winter running and the treadmill. Are you really going to skip your long run because it’s a blizzard when you have access to a treadmill?

Picking The Pure Barre DVD:

I did some searching and discovered that ordering through the Pure Barre website came out to a better price than Amazon.

I selected the Mile High DVD Set mainly because it was a great deal which included two videos, the red ball and pair of the grippy socks.


I already had the socks but the price of this deal was too good to pass up.

Do I think you need the socks? Yes and no. They do help you to grip the ground which I find I need most when doing the plank exercises.

Otherwise, I sort of think you can do this barefoot. It is your house after all.

They tell you to use a yoga mat, I don’t. I don’t even own one.

I don’t do yoga or ever work out from home (until now) so why would I own a mat?

You do not need it if you don’t already have one.

What about a ballet barre?

I actually hold on to the ledge/counter but you can utilize the back of a chair as well.

I wanted to share a picture of me “tucking” while holding on to the ledge/counter but no one (read:my son) was willing to take the photo just yet.

My Overall thoughts:

The DVD version is shorter in length than an actual class (maybe 35-40 minutes vs 55 minutes?)

The flow of the routine is basically the same though:

–>Warming up your core (I always laugh to think they consider the beginning a warm up)

–>Quick Stretch

–>Thigh Work


–>Seat Work


–>Ab/Core Work

–>Final Stretches

*So much of the routine is identical yet the DVD’s that I selected are completely missing the arm circuit which is typically done right after the warm up.

At first this really bothered me but I do recall the entire circuit so I try to do it on my own once or twice a week.

*This DVD set in particular makes much more use of the red ball than I realized I would like.

My hamstring was getting tight from one seat exercise so I learned to drop the ball. Literally.

I realized that holding the ball behind my knee was tensing my right hamstring and I really didn’t need that. I simply do the routine without the ball and it’s just fine that way especially since we did the same exercise in class without the ball too.

*I also stopped placing the red ball between my legs for planks. We didn’t do this during the actual classes and I find it more comfortable without.

*The DVD’s also leave out the “bend-stretch” terminology you may be used to hearing/doing in class. I am not sure if the other DVD’s are the same.

My Routine:

Since I started posting Weekly Workout Recaps, we will both be able to keep track of how often I am lifting, toning and burning from home.

I aim for every other day when possible although I think it averages out more like three times a week.

I alternate my videos each time I workout so that I never get bored with the routine.

pure barre dvd

I never thought I would say this but I actually love that I can do this from the comforts of my home.

Think about it…you can pop this DVD in at any time be it early morning or late at night, during a snowstorm, when the kids are home sick from school or if you have an infant or toddler which makes getting to a gym on a routine basis slightly difficult.

I used to think I would be unable to focus on an at-home workout but the concentration needed for Pure Barre gets you engrossed every time. It goes by so quickly too!

I promise you won’t even dread the routine.

Sure, it burns a bit and makes you shake sometimes but there is something relaxing about the lifting, toning and burning that makes your body crave it if you go a day or two without it.

The stretching and isometric movements are so non-impact and easy on the joints making the routine a perfect complement to your running.

I do not sweat from this routine but I swear to you the changes in your muscles, strength and appearance are real and happen quickly.

One DVD at regular price is the same price or less than one Pure Barre class. I am considering ordering another DVD just to add even more variety into my routine.

One Final Thought:

I am really proud of myself for making these Pure Barre DVD’s work for me from home. I know it’s evident that my motivation is there when it comes to running and fitness but working out from home was NEVER something I would consider.

Until now.

I know that some of us have schedules with very little flexibility. Jobs which require long work hours, long commute hours and/or running a household of little children which can all contribute to lack of time to hit the gym or run a trail.

I do believe that we can all carve out thirty something minutes just a couple of times a week for fitness though regardless of our hectic schedules.

If you want it, you find the time. If you don’t truly want to make it happen, you find an excuse.


Are you an at-home workout person? Which DVD’s/workouts do you like the best?

If you attend barre classes, are you fascinated by the results from the routine?

Do you miss the days of the VCR?!







How To Feel Picture Perfect


Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by AllSeated. I will receive compensation for this post but as always, all thoughts, experiences and opinions are my own.

Ever look back at photos and recall your thoughts or see things in yourself that no one else can sense from the picture?

Maybe you remember what you ate right before taking the picture or you are smiling even though you remember being sad.

If you recall my post introducing you to AllSeated (simplify your event planning by organizing and keeping track of your guest list, floor plan and seating arrangement in one place with instant access from anywhere), I shared a picture with you from my wedding day.

wedding dress

What you can’t tell from the picture is that only two weeks prior to my wedding day, my dress needed some unplanned alterations.

You see, during the months leading up to my wedding, I was dealing with amenorrhea.

While I did get my cycle back to normal roughly four months before my wedding, it takes quite a bit of time for the body and metabolism to regulate and adjust.

I wasn’t supposed to try my dress on again when I picked it up but something told me just to do so before leaving the bridal salon.

Thankfully I did because the seamstress needed to remove the cups that were sewn into the bodice in order for the dress to zip and button on up.

Hello hormones and screwy metabolism.

I may have gained a little weight from the time of the original fitting to my actual wedding day but I still loved the way I looked.

I can even reflect on those photos now, years later, fondly…even if I am divorced.

Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and other big events in our lives often lead people to the land of extreme diets, fad weight-loss plans and intense exercise regimens in an effort to look as perfect as possible.

Most of the Wedding Dress Fad Diets lead to unhealthy behaviors, added stress and binge eating.

Not to mention, even if you are able to achieve the figure you are looking to portray in the photographs, what happens when you give up the rigid routine?

I have seen it happen. Women follow some restrictive diet and exercise plan, lose a significant amount of weight for their big day only to revert to old habits, gain all of the weight back (if not more) and then hate looking at their wedding albums.

Of course they do. The albums are loaded with pictures of a person they barely recognize as themselves thereby making their current self feel all sorts of terrible for not being as thin as they were in the photos.

how to feel picture perfect for your big event

Notice I say How To Feel rather than How To Look.

I did that on purpose.

It is my belief that learning to feel pretty is the key to developing a higher level of confidence which plays out in every area of your life, including your appearance.

When you can honestly feel in your heart that you are pretty enough, thin enough and good enough, when you can feel your self-confidence, that’s when you can accept yourself as you are, which is perfect.

It’s not about a dress size or getting yourself to appear as tiny as possible – because that may or may not be realistic, achievable or sustainable and certainly isn’t the definition of perfection.

Of course, they are ways to assist you into feeling perfect without the added stress of a restrictive diet since the last thing you need while planning an event is any more stress….


Ever notice how much better you feel and how great your skin looks when you consume more water?

Staying hydrated is essential not just for quenching your thirst but for glowing skin as well.

When you are dehydrated, your skin shows it. Wrinkles appear deeper and your skin begins to look older than you really are.

Making sure you drink enough water to stay hydrated will immediately help to minimize and soften those creases and fine lines as well as provides you with that healthy glow you want to see in your photos and mirror each day.

Add in your fruits and vegetables (especially berries which are loading with the antioxidants known to fight off the free radicals) and you are well on your way to slowing down and possibly reversing the signs of aging that show on the skin.

*Nutrient-Dense Foods*

Trading in your processed foods, including those diet plans which provide you with packaged meals and snacks, for fruits and vegetables, complex carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice and quinoa, good fats found in avocado and nut butter with lean protein, allows you to eat an abundance of food without feeling deprived, restricted or hungry.

When you fuel your body well, you feel well. And when you feel well, you look well.

There’s a reason healthy looking people keep drinking those green smoothie juice things often referred to as “Glowing Green Smoothies” or why I eat “Power Bowls” – the ingredients really make you glow and really give you energy.

Click here for a glowing green smoothie recipe and here for power bowl ideas.


Just because there is a ring on your finger or a Bar Mitzvah date approaching on your calendar does not mean you suddenly need to train for your first marathon in order to get into shape.

Simply incorporating thirty minutes a day of an exercise you can enjoy and maintain is enough to lower stress levels, strengthen your muscles and possibly lose weight in the process.

You can start by walking, join the gym and test out some group fitness classes, try Pure Barre (since I love it!), take up running or an at-home workout routine – whichever you choose, do so because you enjoy how it makes you feel.

Exercise produces endorphins which make you feel good. It is cheaper than therapy, better than a pill and lowers your stress levels naturally.

Stress shows on your face. Stress raises those cortisol levels and can even lead to weight gain.

We don’t want any part of stress so get yourself moving in order to relax.

Remember, little changes lead to big results.

start stop keep

Everyone wants things to happen for them yesterday. Thinking you can drop twenty pounds quick is quite a task to take on, not reality and will make you mean and hungry.

The Start, Stop, Keep approach is great for getting you to make small, attainable changes and goals which you can adjust and reevaluate each week. Click here to learn more.

Planning an event can be stressful but no reason to make it worse by placing unrealistic expectations on your appearance.

A little organization combined with a healthy and balanced lifestyle is enough to give you the positive energy and confidence to get you through the planning, feeling pretty for the pictures and enjoying the cake taste testing appointment.

I mean, what’s the point in having a big, fancy event if you are going to extreme diet and skip sampling the cake options? All those cake flavors and frosting varieties?

Don’t forget to check out the AllSeated website to learn more about managing your guest list, RSVP’s and seating charts all in one place with instant access from anywhere at any time.



How often do you look through old pictures?

Do you notice your skin looks different when you drink more/less water?

If you are married or about to get married, please tell me about your wedding cake! Mine was chocolate cake with chocolate fudge filling with white frosting on the outside not that I wanted it that way because I prefer everything chocolate.





Running Terms Made Simple


The main reason I don’t plan my posts too far in advance is because I always end up having a random thought or experience which we need to discuss immediately.

Tuesdays are typically topic/advice type posts over here and while I thought that I wanted to talk in one direction today, we are going in another.

topic tuesday running

I took my new running shoes out for a spin yesterday morning.

I originally thought yesterday’s workout would consist of cross training inside on the elliptical machine since I had run a few days in a row but that was quickly canceled when I purchased the new sneakers on Sunday because running in them for the first time really couldn’t wait.

adidas adistar boost

My father was surprised I didn’t run a mile immediately after bringing the new shoes home on Sunday.

Would you have run quick to try them out? It didn’t even cross my mind probably because it was late afternoon when I arrived home and I don’t run in the afternoon.

Anyway, yesterday’s run. The plan was to take it easy for a few miles since I logged a lot of miles over the last few days so I just wanted to enjoy the new shoes and feel them out.

I certainly didn’t plan on running 5.75 miles in negative splits.

As my current average pace chimed in my ear after each mile, it was clear that I was getting faster and faster naturally and easily.

I decided at mile four that I must continue that negative pattern so that my entire run was in negative split fashion because the thought of it made me happy since I wasn’t really trying and felt great.

In my head for that last mile, I related myself to a pitcher in baseball realizing he was close to securing a no-hitter.

It’s like you obviously always want it but didn’t go out there looking for it but suddenly you find yourself in the ninth inning oh so close without giving up a hit.

You might be wondering what a negative split is, which is the point of my post.

There are so many running terms that sound all technical, complicated and foreign.

As intelligent as I am (really, I am quite smart and that’s okay to admit because it is good for your self-esteem to call yourself smart) I hate technical terms, definitions and descriptions.

Please explain things to me using simple non-SAT words and phrases with words in the definition which don’t require me to use a dictionary just to further define what we are looking to understand in the first place.

Did you know that we better understand and retain information when we are able to comprehend and apply the meaning to our real life experiences?

In the event you like things explained to you in child-like terms like me, I thought we would look at a couple of common running terms today and hopefully explain them in a language you understand.

Negative Splits:

When each interval (or mile) is run at a faster pace than the last.

For example, my run yesterday looked something like this:

Mile One: 9:30 min/mile

Mile Two: 9:11 min/mile

Mile Three: 9:06 min/mile

Mile Four: 8:45 min/mile

Mile Five: 8:04 min/mile

Do you follow?

Running in negative splits shows me that I didn’t start out too fast, gave myself some time to warm-up and adjust which kept me from burning out too quickly.

Lately I have been running in negative splits a lot more often than I used to I think because I have gotten better at forcing myself to start slower to get the blood flowing, conserve some energy and then spend it later in the runs.

I have certainly noticed in my longer runs that rather than feel fatigued let’s say at mile nine, I am still feeling energized and raring to go.

I really like this link which goes a little more in-depth about negative splits. Read it. The information is simple to comprehend.


The definition of Fartlek in Swedish is “Speed Play” but I am not Swedish and only speak Swedish when selecting my fish.

I like the smaller red ones opposed to the larger ones because the larger ones get stuck in my teeth more often.

In simple terms, a fartlek type of run combines continuous training with interval training. Typically run for 40-60 minutes (obviously you can do more/less), you break up the run by sprinting, jogging and then sprinting again.

I often run fartleks without even realizing. I find these types of runs terrific for getting a good workout in and offering some balance in that you aren’t running super fast for the entire run since you have some slower paced lengths built-in between.

I think fartleks have helped me to build my endurance as well as my ability to handle the faster speeds for longer lengths of time.

This link is nice for explaining fartleks more in-depth without overwhelming your reading comprehension skills.

Tempo Runs:

The language associated with explaining tempo runs definitely gets technical since it is often referred to as an anaerobic-threshold run or lactate-threshold run.

They lose me at terms like anaerobic-thresholds and lactate-thresholds.

I really am smart, I swear it.

So let’s try to understand these thresholds.

Threshold pace is the effort level just below which the body’s ability to clear lactate, a by-product of carbohydrate metabolism, can no longer keep up with lactate production.

Uh huh.

So that burning feeling in your legs? That’s the lactate threshold. By incorporating tempo runs into your routine (structured, faster-paced miles), you are teaching your body to adapt and clear out the lactate build up quicker which will prevent that burning feeling.

Tempo runs also increase your VO2 max which simply means increasing your ability to take in oxygen to make energy in your muscles.

A tempo run is run at a “comfortable-hard” pace, typically 25-30 seconds per mile slower than current 5k race pace.

This link goes totally in-depth on tempo runs. Good luck.

An easier read, in simple terms is here.

Did you know that the adolescent brain can only focus and retain information for a super short period of time? This is the main reason that lessons and classroom discussions are held to short periods per subject matter.

I tend to think that the same applies to adults. We can only focus and retain a certain amount of information at once so for this reason, we are stopping at these three definitions for today.

I feel like I should be sitting in a classroom. If I had a bell, I guess this is where it would ring but I find that sound obnoxious and sometimes scary if you are not totally expecting it to go off.

I also find fruit flies obnoxious. That’s what I keep telling the flies as they look at my bananas on the kitchen counter.

No questions today. I feel like questions would seem like homework after this school-like lecture. Just tell me something random instead.





Runner’s Feet And Kushyfoot


Runners talk a lot of about having “runner’s feet”.

And, according to my father, you can actually have something called “runner’s toe” which he often complained about although we never quite understood but we let him have his “runner’s toe” anyway because it sounded like having such a condition made him feel more like a runner. 

I don’t have the traditional runner’s feet. I still have all of my toe nails, none of them are black, no blisters to speak of and really, just looking at my feet would never lead you to believe that I run an average of forty miles a week.

I actually ran close to fifty miles last week and I don’t know how that happened but it’s a little bit cool to think I am capable of such a thing.

I am not sure if non-runner feet are part of my genetics (inherited perhaps from my mother’s side since my father has a runner’s toe) or if it is because I am insane when it comes to my shoes, socks and proper foot care.


We have spoken before about finding the right running shoes for your feet and when to replace your running shoes.

While pedicures are often viewed as a want rather than a need, I count pedicures as a critical component in my good hygiene routine.

And not just for the pretty polish selection.

nail polish

Regular pedicures, as in once a month or even more during the summer, help to keep my toenails short, cuticles managed and feet scrubbed just enough to remove the dead skin yet still keep some calluses for protection.

Money-saving pedicure tip: Most nail salons offer special pricing for pedicures and even mani/pedi deals certain days of the week. Do your research on the salons in your area and plan your visits accordingly.

We need the skin on the bottoms of our feet to be smooth but not too smooth. We need that certain level of toughness as a barrier between us and the ground.

As Janae recently discovered, when the bottoms of our feet are too soft and completely lacking in the callous department, running and even walking around can be really painful.

Have you ever done the whole cover your feet in Vaseline and socks overnight? I would never do it again. Way too softening.

Recently I was contacted to review Kushyfoot athletic socks and a few of their other foot goodies.


ABOUT KUSHYFOOT: Kushyfoot legwear products are made by Doris International, one of North America’s finest hosiery manufacturers and suppliers of prestigious private label programs for retailer. Available in over 10,000 doors around the nation and online, and in more than 50 styles, they deliver unheard-of comfort and high-end quality at affordable price points ranging from $3.99 to $9.99 retail.

Although I get crazy about leaving the house in a possible wrong sock/shoe combination for a run, I took one for the team in order to review the socks for you today.

Guess what?! I really like the Kushyfoot athletic socks.

Super soft and comfortable, high enough in the back to avoid a blister situation, moisture-wicking because my feet weren’t sweaty and the socks were dry when I took them off. They even stay put while running without bunching and getting annoying.


I know for sure that I like these athletic socks because I completely forgot that I was running while wearing something different.

The hot pink foot covers were really comfortable too.

kushyfoot foot covers

I actually wore them over the weekend with sneakers because I got excited that they matched my Saucony Kinvara even though I usually wear peds like this with ballet flats or loafers back in the day.


You can’t see the hot pink peds but that’s the point.

You should know that I broke the #flatsfriday rule last week when I wore wedges the day before a long run.

kate spade wedges

I did have my Flats To Go with me just in case my feet hurt.

flats to go

It’s always good to have such a clever item (foldable/thin ballet flats) with you for emergency situations.


I was all sorts of excited to see that my package of socks to review included Yoga socks.

yoga socks

Unfortunately the one size fits all did not apply to my toes because my baby toe couldn’t peek out of the sock at all, not to mention, getting your toes into socks that are like gloves isn’t easy as you can see above.

The toes are not as smart as fingers when it comes to naturally finding where they belong.

It’s a shame these yoga socks didn’t work for me since I was just contemplating signing up for some Pure Barre classes at the new location that recently opened near my house.

I want to add something different to my cross training routine this summer, either Pure Barre or Spinning.

I need to choose one, which should I pick?

Kushyfoot sent me the above-mentioned socks in exchange for my review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are mine.


Do you have “runner’s feet”?

How often do you treat yourself for a pedicure?

Have you tried Pure Barre?

Favorite athletic socks?




How To Save Money Grocery Shopping Without Coupons

I don’t watch very much television. I mean, I have a few shows that I consider must-see-tv and I have no issue admitting to you that Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Long Island Medium and Honey Boo Boo are on this list.

There is just something about that Boo Boo of a family that cracks me up.

I know Mama June ( who I cannot even grasp is younger than me) is an extreme couponer but I just cannot do it, no matter how I have tried.


Coupons are lovely and all but if you eat a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables, nutrient-dense foods, organic foods and more natural products, you aren’t going to find much success with the mainstream clippable savings.

If you watch Honey Boo Boo, you already know that if one of the clan utters a curse word, the punishment is to eat a vegetable.

In my latest attempt to save money in order to support my Red Mango and summer-dining-out-way-too-much habit, I have been looking for new ways to cut corners.

I always take a look at my monthly bills/expenses to see what I can eliminate or reduce.

Since I can’t give up electricity, I finally bit the bullet and canceled my old-fashioned daily newspaper subscription.

The main reason I was still holding on to newspaper delivery was for my favorite Sunday grocery coupon booklets.


Each Sunday I would get all excited to clip away only to be disappointed week after week to see only brands and foods I seldom eat or buy for the house.

I know we can print many a coupon from brand websites but I have also come to learn that this route doesn’t always save me much because I just end up buying more products or different products than I normally would costing me more money.

Not to mention, it’s time-consuming seeking out internet coupons and then printing them.

I got to thinking about other ways to save money on groceries without using coupons and wanted to share my thought-process/plan with you this morning.

Track the local store circulars:

Overall, Trader Joe’s will give me the best value if I need to pick one store to get the grocery shopping done.

They don’t accept coupons and don’t run sales but their regular pricing is decent enough that you are not overpaying when compared to other grocery store pricing.

However, if I have some time to hit an extra store or two, usually I can save some money by seeking out the weekly grocery store specials by sorting through the circulars each week.

grocery sale list

I jot down a quick list of the sales for the foods I may want in a language only I understand and keep the list in my planner.

I hate running to multiple stores but if the sales are significant, I am so there.


I currently have six pints of blueberries in my refrigerator for $6.99. You can’t beat this deal and no, not one berry will go to waste.

Target Cartwheel app: If your local Target has groceries (which I think most do) check out the Target Cartwheel App for special savings.

I usually scan through the deals each week on my phone, click on what I think I may buy and then all you do is show the bar code to the cashier in order to receive the discounts.

If you have a Target Red Card too, that’s an additional 5% off of the total price. It may not sound like a lot but really, it all adds up.

My Target Red Card is set up as a debit card, meaning, it comes directly out of my checking account rather than act as a credit card that runs up a bill.

Limit grocery store trips:

This is a tough one for me. Keeping fresh fruit and vegetables in the house requires a few trips to the store a week.

However, popping in just for strawberries often leads to buying other things as well which costs more money than you intended to spend.

trader joe's shopping cart

I am going to work on skipping over a shopping trip or two that I think I need but really don’t.

I don’t need it all, all the time:

I just don’t need it all. I don’t need spinach AND kale AND romaine lettuce.

I don’t need broccoli AND cauliflower PLUS eggplant AND zucchini.

I am going to force myself to make my selections based upon what’s on special, skip the multiple types of produce and that’s that. No exceptions. I never have a vegetable go bad on me but I also don’t need to eat so many varieties in one week.

Dirty Dozen:

The organic food debate really deserves its own post entirely. Do you buy organic or do you avoid it because it costs more?

I do a little bit of both. I do what I can afford while keeping the Dirty Dozen list in mind.

I have read so much on this subject and the bottom line is, of course you want to buy organic when you can but the nutrients in the foods outweigh your risk from the pesticides.

Meatless Monday:

I won’t try to convert you to a plant-based diet but you should know that swapping out a meat based meal for plant-based will absolutely save you some money.

organic beans

A can of organic chick peas which offers about three and a half servings will cost you around $1.19 (at Trader Joe’s). A package of chicken cutlets will run you at least six dollars depending upon store and brand.

Honoring Meatless Monday as well as going meatless a couple more times a week definitely saves money and is good for your health too.

Use up what’s in your freezer before restocking:

Sometimes when I am grocery shopping I get all load-the-cart happy and throw things in that I will need….eventually.

I have stopped doing this and now try to wait until I use up what’s in my freezer and even my pantry before buying another bag of frozen vegetables or granola bars.


You have seen my freezer. We both know I don’t need another frozen item for a good month.

Costco and BJ’s isn’t always a money saver:

Buying in bulk gives you more food at a time but that doesn’t mean it works out cheaper.

If you aren’t going to eat five pounds of broccoli before it goes bad, you are spending more money on food than you should.

On this same idea, I buy the smallest container of skim milk because most of the time, we don’t even finish it.

And, if we run out, I can always buy more.

skim milk

It sure beats buying a half-gallon, paying more money and spilling out half of it.

Meal Plan:

I don’t meal plan. I don’t like having to decide what I for dinner Tuesday night on Sunday.

Rather, I keep the house stocked with my staples and throw it all together each day according to my mood.

I know that people love their meal planning and it can certainly help you to save some money buy shopping specifically for what you plan to make and eat.

Ironically enough, my son likes a meal plan during the summer. He comes home from camp really hungry and he enjoys planning out what I will have ready for him for dinner each night.

I think I will get a bit more into detail regarding our recent summer dinner meal plan next week but one of his favorites is “The Big Sandwich”.

big sandwich

He requests a big roll (whole wheat which I get at Whole Foods) with turkey, cucumbers, lettuce, pickles and mustard.

Cheaper (and healthier) than Subway.

If you ever wonder why I never run out of things to say, it is mainly because once I start typing, the thoughts start flowing. And, once I start writing one post, more post ideas develop.

From writing this post, I am now thinking we need to address the following:

  • Must-have foods (regardless of price/sale/special)
  • Organic, Hormones/Antibiotics in animal protein and the Dirty Dozen
  • Meal Planning
  • Easy Meatless Meals

I think I will get to work on those posts today!


Are you a coupon clipper?

Favorite reality television shows? You can admit them, I won’t judge.

How do you go about saving money on groceries?    

How To Become A Morning Runner


I have a really great group of friends. I really like them.

If you must know the truth, I think my friends should be honored I feel this way about them because if you know me, you know I have little tolerance for people.

hate people and pants

Forever my motto.

It is actually nice to know that my friends feel the same way about me as well. At least I think they do?

We all get moody. We all have days where we are dealing with serious life issues or just a PMS mood swing where we don’t  feel like talking to anyone and wish to hide from the world.

It warms my heart to know that when this happens to any of my close friends, they avoid everyone…except for me.

They choose to talk to me because I am, for the most part, non-judgemental, help to put things into perspective, listen without trying to conjure up a solution and when all else fails, I get them to laugh and always recommend an ice cream cone with sprinkles.

There are times however where my true opinion is asked. There are also times where I can’t be all that sweet and kind because I am rather honest and blunt, especially on certain topics.

Sometimes I am asked for help in such a way that it seems everything must be easy and quick for me to answer, as if I can rattle off recipes in one text, advice and tips in the next message and solve all of the world’s problems in a matter of minutes.

topic tuesday running

Recently I was asked how to become a morning runner.

I can certainly throw at you a string of words and phrases which resemble some the cookie-cutter  How-To lists generated from a google search on the subject but something like that coming from someone like me wouldn’t be all that genuine.

The truth is, I have always been a morning person. I have never used an alarm clock in my entire life and sleeping in as a kid meant not opening my eyes until 7:00 am.

Over the course of my 36 years of life, maybe I have stayed asleep past 9:00 am a handful of times.

If you are not a morning person, I haven’t the slightest idea how to tell you to get up earlier to workout other than simply say, get yourself out of bed and go.

I can’t relate to your inability to get up in the morning. I don’t understand why you need a buzzing beeping sound to rattle you out of sleep.

exercise in morning

I don’t know how you skip a morning workout in favor of sleeping in to then stumble through your morning routine with half an eye opened on your way to work.

I don’t understand how sleeping an extra hour can offer you the same energy and cheery mood that an endorphin-producing morning run as short as thirty minutes can.

You make no sense to me when you say you can’t find thirty minutes a couple of mornings a week to get up and get out there.

And you have a treadmill in your house? But you can’t bring yourself to get out of bed, put your clothes on and push the button? Please explain.

You often skip your evening plan for a workout because life gets in the way? Please tell me what is getting in the way at 5:30 am, even if only a few times a week.

Unless you need to catch a 6:00 am flight or leave for work at a super early hour, I don’t know how to relate.

I realize I am being a bit narrow-minded, blunt and harsh but sometimes, especially when it comes to situations like this, my friends need to be spoken to in this manner. Sometimes these precise words and questions are necessary to get them to stop making excuses and to finally see where they can make adjustments to their routine.

Since I don’t want to upset you and because I can’t buy you an ice cream cone to make peace, here is a sweetened up version of what I just said:

*A morning workout gives you energy to power through your day.

*An early morning run or workout will put a smile on your face, reduce some stress and help you to be kinder to the people who encounter you afterwards.

*Running in the morning frees up time later for life to get in the way.

And on the same note, very little can interfere with your morning workout. Think about it; nothing is interfering when you are choosing to stay asleep so what would get in the way if you chose to instead get up and do some burpees, planks and jumping jacks in your living room?

*Starting your day with a workout may help you to stick to your healthy diet and lifestyle.

*Waking up earlier may help you to go to get into bed earlier which may lead to less night-time snacking, possible weight loss and maybe even better – more hours of sleeping.

*Getting up an hour earlier than normal may leave you tired within the first few minutes but you won’t feel it once you get moving nor will you notice it later in the day.

*At 5:00 pm, you will be happy your workout was already completed.

I really wish I could tell you that sleeping in your workout apparel will help you to get up in the morning and run but I just can’t say this to you and feel serious about it.

I know some people do this (to each their own I suppose), but it’s not something I can relate to or recommend.

I cannot fathom sleeping in a running skirt and a sweat-wicking athletic top with a built-in bra and back closure clip that I think would dig into my skin.

Listen people. It is summer. The sun is up and out early. Join it.

Wake up and put your clothes up like a big girl (or boy). Brush your teeth, sip your coffee or water and eat a banana or whatever it is you need to do in order to lace up and get moving.

Set the routine now so that when winter comes, you are already adapted to the morning workout regimen and won’t be tempted to stay under the covers when it is cold and dreary out there.

Ugh, let’s not even think about that now.


Are you a morning person or do you prefer to sleep in?

What time is your most effective workout time?

Do you sleep in your gym clothes?

Do you have friends you turn to when you feel like talking to no one else?




Kiss My Face Soap and Coconut Oil Hair Mask

My son’s iPhone stopped working because it was thrown into the pool at a pool party on Sunday. No wait- it fell in by accident. No wait- my son jumped into the pool by accident with his iphone in his bathing suit pocket.

Regardless of which version of the story he tells me, the iphone doesn’t work. It needs to be replaced (which now becomes his graduation gift) but between yesterday morning’s graduation bagel breakfast and last night’s graduation party, I didn’t have time to get to Verizon.

fruit platters

My fifth grade planning committee job was to order and bring the fruit platters which made me happy since setting them up meant sampling while I worked.

My point in bringing up the broken iPhone is that my son was going through facetime withdrawal last night after the graduation party because he couldn’t talk to his friends.

Would you believe I needed to remind him to use an ACTUAL TELEPHONE?

It may not let you see the person you are talking to but you can still talk to them, that is, if you actually know someone’s telephone number.

We live in a different world today friends. A different world.

Anyway, between a pleasantly busy weekend (which included sushi that went unpictured but trust me, it was delicious) and life this week being all graduation hectic, the post I had mentally planned out for this morning just didn’t have time to pull itself together.

However, I do have a few random things to tell you about.

First up, the contents of the goodie bag from my birthday giveaway: goodie bag

Our giveaway winner received her goodie bag last week which I can now tell you included Organic Matcha, a variety of KIND bars, free product coupons for Gardein Meatless products, Dr. Praeger’s coupons and a Panera gift card which would cover a bakery treat and coffee (at least that is what I would order if I were to use it).

I had fun putting this goodie bag together and look forward to doing it again next year!

I have a new favorite soap and I think you need it too:

kiss my face soap

This seriously gigantic bar of Kiss My Face soap is made from olive oil and lavender making it smell amazing, feel incredibly smooth and better than that, is from parabens, animal ingredients, artificial colors and unnecessary chemicals.

kiss my face soap

I think I paid around three dollars for the bar but it really is so big that it will last much longer than your average soap.

Sometimes I spend a bit more for a quality product but then there are times when I save money like Sunday morning when I concocted my own coconut oil hydrating hair treatment.

coconut oil and honey

I never had dry hair but lately something has been up. I don’t know if it is the sun or the weather or the sudden cumulative effect of highlighting my hair for years, but my hair has been drier than normal and really bothering me.

I finally gave the make-it-yourself coconut oil hair mask a try and all I can say is WOW.

All you do is mix a tablespoon of melted coconut oil with a spoonful of honey and rub it on the ends of your hair (I did it on dry hair).

I left it on for about forty minutes and then rinsed with shampoo and conditioner. My hair came out so soft, shiny and free of frizz.

After blowing it out, I didn’t need to add a finishing serum.

I even sat on the beach Sunday evening, worked up a bit of a sweat yesterday morning and ran around like a crazy person with the parties yesterday and still had decent hair.

graduation party

My good friend Christine and I posed by the class cake last night (you can tell I wasn’t in charge of the cake because no cake that I would order would involve vanilla icing).

Coconut oil is amazing for our hair. It is able to penetrate the hair shaft to actually repair the damage to the cuticle rather than just sit on top of the hair  like most store-bought oils and serums. Coconut oil will improve the overall shine and texture of our hair and is completely natural so we don’t have to fear a list of harmful ingredients.

You must try it and let me know how you like it. Just a warning though – mixing melted coconut oil with honey will smell so amazing you will want to eat it. You can of course, but then you will need more for your hair. 

Time for me to get another busy day started…have a great Tuesday!


Do you use a shower gel or bar soap?

Favorite hair products at the moment?

Ever try the coconut oil mask or other make-it-yourself beauty treatments?


How Pregnancy and Motherhood Affected My Running Routine



Today let’s talk a little bit about how pregnancy and motherhood affected my running routine.

Even if you don’t have kids or are past this point in your life, it’s worth reading along anyway.

I didn’t run while I was pregnant.

As you know from last week’s post, running did not become my fitness first love or priority until a few years ago.

I did however go to the gym five days a week for years and then attempted to keep up that fitness routine while I was pregnant.

They say you can maintain your activity level while pregnant as your body is already used to your fitness routine so long as you go by how you feel and make adjustments as your baby continues to grow in your belly.

Once I found out I was pregnant, I quickly stopped doing sit ups.  I stuck to thirty minutes on the elliptical machine or treadmill as my main form of exercise.

One morning at the gym before work (maybe I was eight weeks along?) the smell inside the locker room nearly killed me. Pregnancy hormones will do this to you.

I got myself out of that gym as fast as possible in order to take a shower at home. I was late for work (I am never late!)  but staying alive was more important than being on time that day. The stop at the bagel store for an egg sandwich was pretty important too.

I didn’t step foot inside a gym again for a good three years.

I always thought I would maintain my fitness routine while pregnant but my body told me otherwise.

I had a fairly easy pregnancy (aside from a bout with bed rest at 28 weeks) but I was nauseous a whole bunch in the beginning. I was exhausted by the end of the work day and as my belly got bigger, my back hurt too. Trying to function just to complete daily tasks was not easy.

When I felt well, which was really most of the time, I kept up my usual morning exercise routine by going for a walk before work. I also went for daily walks during my lunch break. Those lunch break walks often included a stop at TCBY for a shake on the walk back to work but hey, I was pregnant and hungry.

I still don’t know what I weighed or gained during my pregnancy since I never looked at the scale but I absolutely enjoyed myself. From what I now understand,  I gained at least the recommended 35 pounds (I asked the doctor afterwards if I met that amount) which all came off within the first year and then some.

My father only wanted to get me a treadmill right before my son was born so that I would be able to get back into my fitness routine without leaving the house.

But I didn’t want it.

I didn’t want a treadmill in my house because I didn’t need it staring at me each day as a reminder that I couldn’t find thirty minutes to walk or run on it.

I knew that having a treadmill in my house would make me feel guilty for collapsing into my bed at night, for choosing to shower for more than twenty seconds when I could or sitting down to eat when possible rather than use that time to squeeze in a treadmill run.

Some people can use their exercise equipment as a clothing rack but I knew that I couldn’t.

I would have viewed that treadmill as a responsibility and when you have a baby, the last thing you need is another responsibility.

Taking care of an infant is grueling. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you.

The first six weeks after pregnancy you aren’t even allowed to exercise because your body needs to recover. Your hormones need to stabilize, wounds need to heal and all that recovery requires some rest too. I never got around to that rest part.

My form of exercise was to simply survive taking care of a baby.

Just carrying that car seat, taking the stroller in and out of the car multiple times a day and getting through a 24 hour period was a daily marathon.

At the six-week mark, I did try to return to a fitness routine at home where I did sit ups and free weights but honestly, I was petrified about the lactic acid getting into my milk which was known to make a nursing baby fussy.

Trust me, I didn’t need another variable thrown into the mix as to why my baby was crying, screaming, fussing and up all night long.

Aside from driving, nursing was the only time I was able to sit down. Luckily, those rest moments were actually burning calories and tightening my stomach muscles. You know, you burn on average 500 calories a day just from nursing.

I didn’t belong to the gym anymore or schedule daily workout sessions but I sure did a lot of walking. We were always somewhere, always on a walk in the neighborhood or through a mall.

jeep stroller

I did have a jogging stroller but I think I bought it for the entertaining steering wheel thing rather than for its ability to help me run.

I honestly thought that the friendly dashboard would keep the kid humored and quiet <—new mother who knew nothing.

Nowadays they have fitness programs for moms called Stroller Strides.

I totally recommend this program and would have signed up for those sessions but really, I did those strides on my own everyday.

Key point here: You do not need to pay to attend a structured stroller fitness group to get moving.

Simply strapping your baby in safely and heading outside for a walk (or run) or even just walking the malls endlessly like I did is all you need.

Setting out for thirty minutes a day of stroller walking is enough to get the endorphins flowing, blood pumping, muscles working and hopefully, a baby sleeping.

Stroller walking is exercise. If you can run with the stroller, even better.

I learned rather quickly that the journey of motherhood means your life isn’t all that your own anymore.

sharing ice cream

You even have to share your ice cream.

I was a stay-at-home mom and wouldn’t trade it for the world but it wasn’t easy.

My husband worked beyond full-time so it was all on me, especially as a nursing mother. Let’s not get into my son not taking a bottle.

Those infant and toddler stages, the moments where your children need you every second are so short-lived and part of me knew that.

I chose to use the short breaks of time that I had to myself to get my nails done or go food shopping alone rather than head to a gym or out for a run.

I always figured that once I sent my son to preschool, I would rejoin the gym and have some regularly scheduled time to devote to my fitness routine again.

I also knew that I had to balance that return to the gym with knowing there would be days I couldn’t get there.

Days on end where my son would be sick which would keep us homebound.

Days where it would snow and driving us both to the gym just so I could take a kick boxing class or use the elliptical machine was not worth it.

Days where he would be off from school and sending him to the gym babysitting room wouldn’t fit into our schedule.

halloween party

I may not have been as fit as I am now but I was able to carry a baby in one hand, groceries in the other and somehow unlock the front door.

I could change a messy diaper on the fly and had the strength to somehow get my son who refused to bend when it was time to get into a stroller all buckled in.

I could give him a bath and wash his hair all while he insisted on standing yet unable to stand on his own which meant I had to hold him steady.

If you want to know the truth, the strength I had back then far surpasses my running endurance now.

I swear I don’t know how I did it all, all day long and then into the night to only start over again in the morning.

I would like to have another baby one day. I don’t know that I will but I do often think about it and wonder how I would handle things this time.

Running is my thing. I look forward to it each day (well, not every day since one needs a break but I hate those breaks because then I miss my run) but if I were pregnant, would I be able to keep it up this time?

Would I jump out the door six weeks post-partum?

Would my stroller walks be more like stroller runs?

I really don’t know.

I read many a blog about pregnant runners and mothers of young children running pretty regularly and even running races.

I have a feeling that if I were a new mom, reading those blogs would make me feel guilty for all of those days where the last thing I thought about was being able to run.


I found this picture in a photo album last night – I clearly wore my running shoes but the only running they saw was through Chuck E. Cheese.

I don’t think I would trade any of those runs through Chuck E Cheese for the world.


Did you keep up your fitness routine while pregnant?

Nursing moms- has exercised affected your milk supply?

Anyone ever try Stroller Strides?

Do blogs ever make you feel guilty or feel as though you need to run/workout more than you already are?








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