TOL – Modern Technology, Gym Class & Slow Walking



I have so many issues with modern technology and one of them is how available we all are, or really, how available people expect that we are because we are so easy to reach.


Kids today not only have cell phones, they now have the ability to text their parents from class to say they are bored and want to come home.

I had to suffer through my middle school classes and my child will too.


In fact, I am so bothered that I couldn’t send these texts to my parents when I was a kid more than anything else. I am jealous, okay? And this jealously is what will keep him sitting in class as I LOL back at him. If I couldn’t leave, you can’t either. Deal with it.

I am surprised he didn’t text to say he was hungry considering he is still on the breakfast before school is for losers kick.

Exhibit A: The whole grain waffle topped with peanut butter left sitting on the car seat. I think he took a small bite.

waffle with peanut butter

While on the topic of school, every time my mother reads my workout recaps, she calls me to say that if my evil high school gym teacher isn’t dead yet, she would drop dead to know that not only can I run, I can run fast and long.

10k race

Oh hey, Ms. Tirado! I may have fainted in your gym class and thrown up too when you tried to push me too far but look at me now! And no thanks to you and your early morning gym class detention time when you had me running in circles at 6:00 am as punishment for not wanting to change into my gym clothes.  

Ms. Tirado even told me that in all of her years of teaching gym, I held the record for WALKING her required fitness test mile the slowest in history. I didn’t RUN the required mile back then because I had a doctor’s note to excuse me from such a strenuous activity 🙂

I still walk slow you know.

My son routinely gives me a hard time about my walking pace at which point I usually remind him that I already ran my miles with speed intervals too so I am entitled to walk however slow I wish. I mean, don’t my legs ever get a break?

A few more modern technology complaints for today while I have your attention:

1. I wish my Keurig machine held more water in its tank. Every other minute that blue light is staring at me letting me know it’s time to refill. I don’t want to keep refilling! Hold more water at a time would you?

2. All Pin It! buttons should be required to be positioned in the same corner of all pictures on all websites. My goodness, I am forever hovering over images looking for the darn pin it button.

Some sites it’s the upper left corner, some its the center, some it’s the bottom right, top right yet never the bottom left. It drives me nuts! And what really puts me over the edge? When I finally find the pin it button on the image and a message pops up telling me there’s no image to pin. As if that makes any sense whatsoever.

I am off to run now, 8 miles on the treadmill here I come!

Check out what everyone else is thinking about today here.

[bctt tweet=”Thinking out loud & my problems with modern technology #thinkingoutloud #running #gymclass #kids #motherhood #technology @runwithspoons”]


Anyone else have an awful gym teacher growing up?

What’s on the workout agenda for today?

Are you forever refilling the Keurig water?





Cold S’mores {No Bake & Super Easy!}


I first learned about cold s’mores during the summer of 2006 when my son was enrolled in the sweetest little cooking class for preschoolers (it was actually the summer before he started preschool, he wasn’t even three years old!).

Cold Smores

It was a mommy and me style cooking class where we made simple and easy recipes with our children. This recipe for cold s’mores was one of the first snacks we made and it immediately became a snack staple in our house, repeated over and over ever since.

It also became my go-to easy snack recipe to make with the kids when I started teaching cooking classes for the preschool and elementary school children a few years later.

Oh, you didn’t know that I used to teach cooking classes for kids? I did! I did! I also taught a cute preschool art program at my son’s preschool back in the day.

Art and cooking. My all-time favorites.

I loved being a stay at home mom but I also loved popping into the schools and bringing my favorite past times to the children. I had something to offer and I just loved being involved in my son’s schools (getting to know all of the kids, seeing what went on etc.).

Back to the recipe.

cold smores

These cold s’mores are really easy to make and perfect for eating year round.  Tradition has it that s’mores require some sort of oven (or campfire) to melt the chocolate and marshmallows, but these cold s’mores are a no bake snack because they are created by mixing together your marshmallows and chocolate chips with whipped topping!

That’s right, there’s no melting or cooking involved. All you have to do is mix up s’mores ingredients, spoon onto your graham crackers, close them up to make sandwiches and then freeze until you are ready to eat.

You can make a bunch in advance and keep them in the freezer for the moment when a snack attack strikes.

I wrap up the cold s’mores in aluminum foil, either one or two per pack.

Over the years I have revised the cold s’mores recipe only to include healthier versions of the ingredients. It’s not about the calorie content (this snack is fairly light if you ask me), it’s about finding the ingredients which are made without the artificial stuff and preservatives.

Cold Smores Ingredients

I get my graham crackers at Trader Joe’s and discovered this truwhip at Whole Foods. And yes, the taste and texture is just as good as Cool Whip! I haven’t had an issue and my son hasn’t complained so that means it’s good.

As for the chocolate chips, I usually use Trader Joe’s semi sweet or get Ghiradelli mini semi sweet chocolate chips. You can totally use whichever kind of chocolate you prefer, even chopping up a giant dark chocolate bar <- the pound plus from TJ is my favorite! I can’t always find the “healthier” marshmallows but they do exist.

Feel free to double or triple this recipe in order to stock your freezer to the brim with these Cold s’mores.

Oh and if you are thinking about adding a spread of peanut butter to the graham cracker before closing up your Cold s’mores sandwich, go for it! I have done it and its fabulous.

cold smores


Cold S’mores {No Bake & Super Easy!}
Author: Meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles
Serves: 10
  • 2 cups of marshmallows
  • 2 cups of whipped topping (thawed)
  • 2 cups of chocolate chips (any kind, your choice)
  • 1 sleeve of graham crackers (broken in half)
  • aluminum foil
  1. Thaw your whipped topping and then measure out 2 cups.
  2. In a bowl, mix together whipped topping, marshmallows and chocolate chips.
  3. Line counter with aluminum foil sheets (large enough to wrap up the cold s’mores)
  4. Place 2 halves of graham crackers on each foil sheet (or 4 halves if you want to wrap up 2 cold s’mores at a time).
  5. Using a spoon, place a good dollop of your s’mores mixture on 1 graham cracker and then close it up like a sandwich using the other graham cracker.
  6. Wrap up your cold s’mores in the foil to create a foil pack and place in freezer.
  7. Freeze the cold s’mores for 40 minutes to 1 hour before eating.
  8. Eat immediately upon removing from freezer.
  9. Cold S’mores can be stored in the freezer indefinitely (so long as you wrapped them up real good!)


[bctt tweet=”Try this easy no bake recipe for Cold S’mores! #smores #snacks #dessert #easyrecipe “]


Have you ever taken a cooking class?

Are you a s’mores fan? Do you make them at home?

What’s on the workout agenda for today?


Thinking Out Loud – Did I Tell You…


I talk and text with so many people in a day and I consider my blog writing a form of communication as well therefore I often forget who I tell what and in what form I tell it.


Did I tell you…

That Lulu Lemon has an in-house tailor? You can even have your work-out tops shortened if you find that they are too long. I didn’t know this so if you did and didn’t tell me, that isn’t very nice.

I decided yesterday that walking into Lulu Lemon is like being in Disney World and walking into the Disney gift shops. You are immediately brain washed into thinking you need everything when in reality, you just don’t.

I don’t need this bag just like you don’t need the Minnie Mouse beach cover up with matching sandals to coordinate with the Disney dish towel set which pairs nicely with the Mickey kitchen utensils.

Ugh but the bag is cute and functional and water proof and did I mention cute.

Did I tell you that asking a girl out in the fifth grade and her saying yes really just means your instagram profile will now include your “girlfriend’s” name with a heart next to it? Welcome to the social media generation.

I decided it’s not fair that kids today have their own cell phones and never need to stress over calling a boy’s house and having the mother answer where you choke and hang up due to fear and embarrassment.

Did I tell you that I got a new pair of running shoes?


Clearly I have a color theme which is so not done on purpose.

I burned through my latest pair of yellow Adidas Energy Boosts fairly quickly but that’s what happens when you run a lot of miles each week, especially when those miles are taking place outdoors.

I got lucky that the Energy Boosts were left in my size in dark pink this time around.

As I said in Tuesday’s post, proper running shoes are crucial. You can’t wear poor fitting sneakers and you certainly cannot run in worn out, too-many-miles-on-the-soles sneakers and expect to run happy.

Sometimes your knees hurt, hips ache, calves burn, heel hurts, hamstrings pull to the point where you think you are injured or just not made for running when in reality, nothing is wrong other than you trying to run in the wrong pair of sneakers.

Did I tell you that I am contemplating giving away my pink jean shorts?

I am not ready to graduate to mom shorts but I decided the pink ones are the shortest and maybe need to be retired to someone who can wear them age appropriately.

My friend’s daughter would like them. She is nine. Makes sense.

Did I tell you that I am currently obsessed with corn and recipes that contain corn? It started last week when I kept eating my favorite salad.

Corn. I just want corn.

I spotted roasted corn on someone else’s table the other night at Rosa Mexicano and became sorry we ordered the roasted plantains as a side dish. Although those plantains were good. Like really good. I need to start buying plantains.

Here are the corn recipes I recently pinned and need to make:

Farmer’s Market Skillet

Sweet Corn and Quinoa

Black Bean And Sweet Corn Guacamole Dip

And while on the topic of recipes I need to make, now that I have an abundance of blueberries, I must make Davida’s Roasted Rosemary Brussels Sprouts with Blueberries.

It would help if I had Brussels sprouts in the house. Why can’t I ever have every ingredient that I need at the same time?

Be sure to check out what everyone else is thinking about today!


Do you suddenly crave random foods for days on end?

Did you used to freak out calling a boy’s house (or a girl’s house) when you were a kid?

How do you usually tell you are due for a new pair of running shoes? I can usually feel the front  of the shoes are worn through and this time around, I had heel pain in both feet.





I Don’t Own A Scale

Yesterday was a long day. A beautiful, wonderful and fun day but a long day just the same.

Although, who am I to properly judge what qualifies as a long day? Normally by 9:00 am, I have already put in a full day and would easily put my pajamas back on and call it a night knowing I accomplished blog reading and writing, a decent amount of miles, enough interaction with my son and two meals (yes, I eat twice by 9:00am).

Yesterday was my son’s fifth grade class trip which took place at a beautiful local day camp which I used to call my own growing up. I even worked there for a bit too.

crestwood pools

My son attends a different day camp during the summer but that is neither here nor there at the moment.

Anyway, the point of this post isn’t really about the trip or my memories as the camper who never wanted to go in the pool and get her hair wet, put her feet in the grass without a shoe on and certainly without a doubt would never climb this ladder in order to zip on a line.


My son is ten. Do you remember ten? Well ten today is more like twelve or thirteen when I was a kid.

I am convinced that modern technology has escalated the interests and knowledge of children today. I mean, I was still playing barbies at ten. And probably twelve (and thirteen, okay fourteen too).

Ten is that age where kids suddenly start noticing their bodies more. Noticing that they want to look a certain way, be a certain size – the perfect size.

A friend of mine recently informed me that some of the girls her daughter knows are beginning to not eat and my goodness – throw up.

As for the boys, I am hearing things about not wanting to show their stomachs when they put a bathing suit on because they feel they are too scrawny or too big.

It upsets me to hear these things.

Our innocent children are entering the world where puberty begins, kids are mean, body images become distorted and the media intervenes with all things weight loss and becoming as thin as possible.

Posing for selfies and constantly seeing themselves in a facetime camera cannot possible be helping here.

The child in me fears puberty for my son. The adult in me tries so hard without overdoing it when it comes to raising him to be active in sports and enjoy a balanced diet since I believe so strongly that those two things are the key to healthy life-long weight management success.

He is just like me – a good eater.

I never want to take that from him. It stresses me to read the ingredients sometimes in certain foods which I try not to bring into my house yet at the same time, I never want him to feel deprived.

I speak all of the time about filling up with unprocessed foods (fruits and vegetables!) yet he is a kid and kids eat processed foods.

I am not oblivious to this.


I even allowed this box of lemon ices which he requested by brand even though all I see when I look at the ices is the high fructose corn syrup listed second in the ingredients.

The one thing though that I won’t bring into my home is a scale.

As nutty as my son may find me for reading the labels on Gatorade, running a bazillion miles and trying to pass off bananas as ice cream, I am hoping that growing up without a scale makes some form of an impression on him that the number means nothing.

All of this just dawned on me the other day. There is no reference to numbers in our house. He has never once in his entire life seen me step on a scale or speak about gaining a pound or losing a pound or even discuss calories of the foods we consume.

When he mentions being weighed in school (which should be against the law) or discusses what he weighed when he stepped on a scale in someone else’s bathroom, I tell him that the number means nothing.

I explain my thoughts to him as to why the number means nothing and how every body is different. I dabble a bit into the world of muscle weighs more than fat, how some people naturally weigh more than others even though they may not look it.

I venture into the land of everything in moderation and fueling up properly to play ball most effectively. I use myself as an example in that as tiny as I am, I will always have shape to my legs and point out how much he sees me eat and how often I drag him for ice cream sundaes yet still look the way that I do without the use of a scale to monitor my size.

While sometimes I wonder if he understands what I am saying, I have decided that just being raised in a numberless environment may work like osmosis, subconsciously override the media and help to frame his future.

And perhaps, just perhaps, being raised in a house that forever smells of roasted vegetables will filter into his brain and taste buds to one day make them appealing.


Are you ready to call it a day by 9:00 am like me?

Did you attend summer camp as a kid? Day camp or sleep-away?

At what age do you recall worrying about your appearance?

What foods do you refuse to stop buying regardless of the ingredients?


Back-to-Back Long Runs


When I heard on Friday that my son’s little league game was switched to 9:00 am Saturday morning (meaning you are on the field at 8:30 am) instead of 3:30 pm in the afternoon, I was less than pleased.

little league

I don’t think the coaches really cared or understood that Saturday morning is my long run morning.

Naturally a morning person, I had some maneuvering to do in order to make my run happen and still have time to shower and eat all before making it to the field for the start of the game.

On a side note, I always factor in my time to eat. Don’t you love the people who tell you they haven’t eaten all day because they had no time? I just don’t understand. Like, I don’t get it at all.

I toyed with different ideas and scenarios such as running super fast to get the miles done sooner (not ideal for a long run since a long run is about endurance not speed), I could skip the run (ha, not happening), I could run later in the day (totally not happening), reschedule the run for another day or just run fewer miles.

I chose to get up an hour earlier and run just ten miles. I love when I say just ten as if that’s nothing. It’s something, trust me.

But, as I made the decision to run ten and since that is less than the usual, I conjured up the idea of running back to back ten-mile runs for the weekend.

Simultaneously in that thought I questioned why I couldn’t just hold off on the long run until Sunday altogether but then I realized I am a runner who is nutty who feels the need to run long on Saturday because it’s what I do and if I didn’t, I risk throwing off my entire equilibrium.

I actually liked running earlier than normal on Saturday (I actually squeezed in 11 miles). It’s almost as if you bang out a bunch of miles before you normally begin making it as if they were given to you without you doing anything. Does that make any sense?

I didn’t love bouncing back out the door to get the day going but I felt really good. I made sure not to sit in the bleachers for the two-hour game because I felt like that would stiffen my legs and make me miserable.

Not that standing on my feet for two hours was too terrific but the game was good and my son played well and we got to eat lunch right after so I was happy.

red mango parfait

I don’t always run on Sundays and if I do, it is usually a shake-out run. But, my mind was set on ten miles even with the extra one thrown in on Saturday.

I kept the pace easy after running on Saturday but I must admit, I didn’t even feel as though I ran on Saturday.

shadow from running

In fact, both days were rather pleasant. The types of runs where you feel as though you were sleeping to then wake up and question where you have been for the last several miles.

Kind of like when you are driving and suddenly end up on your street and wonder how it is you got there and if you were actually paying attention to the road. I mean, you totally are paying attention yet you get so lost in thought you forget what you are doing?

True story – A few months after we moved a bunch of years ago, I automatically drove straight up the driveway of our old house without thinking what I was doing. I guess I was on autopilot.

Good thing I didn’t try to unlock the front door.

Anyway, other than running, I literally ran all over the place with so many things to do. It’s that time of year, isn’t it? Always somewhere to be, something to do, something to spend money for…

It’s fine though. As long as I fit my long run in to the schedule, no one gets hurt.

And of course, as long as I can fit in dessert, we are all good.

cold stone sundae

I haven’t the slightest idea why Cold Stone sometimes decides to chocolate dip their bowls without a final dip into the rainbow sprinkles. I ask them and they just stare at me as if no one has ever questioned this before or maybe because it makes them realize they forgot a step and they feel ashamed. I don’t know.

And to go with the trend of a bazillion things to do in the month of May and June, today I get to attend a play-type thing at my son’s school for a few hours.

My plan is to see how many voices and faces I can recognize from those children who infiltrate my house via facetime all day and night.

Kids today live in a totally different world I tell you…


What time of day do you run?

Are you ever so busy you skip a meal or do you always make time to eat?

Favorite ice cream/yogurt topping?

Ever drive to the wrong house not realizing what the heck you were doing?



TOL And Chocolate Chip Day


Just about my entire post deleted itself upon publishing this morning. Be thankful you weren’t here when I realized this horrendous occurrence for then I had to calm down, suck it up and rewrite all of the words I  struggled to replicate.


Parenting thoughts:

I have a ten-year-old son. I am soon to be a 36-years-old.

Yes, I realize I am stating the obvious but sometimes I forget my baby is headed to middle school in the fall instead of Gymboree where he used to find fascination in running on top of the moving parachute while the rest of the kids sat on it for the ride.

They totally loved us at Gymboree, can you imagine?

So, now that I have acknowledged the age of my son and the soon to be age of myself, I am questioning the length of my jean shorts. At what point do I need to graduate to mom shorts?

I asked my son if my shorts were too short and he told me that how I wear mine is how all the girls where them and I am fine.

All the girls? The girls he knows ARE TEN.

This can’t be good for my image. Although between me and you, I am a bit honored that he counted me as one of the girls.

Speaking of my son, did I ever tell you how smart he is? I don’t like to brag, but he is like really intelligent.

However, I looked over his essay the other day and noticed he drew a smiley face Emoji at the conclusion of a sentence.

I informed him that the English Language does not include Emojis and they are for text purposes only.

I hate to say it, but, this whole text generation? What is our world coming to?

Running Thoughts:

How come us runners sometimes say, ” I couldn’t wait to finish that run” or “I am so happy those miles are finished.”

If you stop to think about those phrases, it almost sounds like we hate running and that really isn’t the case at all.

Perhaps we couldn’t wait to complete our run for the endorphin high produced or for the sense of accomplishment we achieve by pushing ourselves through tough miles, up a hill or to hit a specific pace.

Or maybe we can’t wait to finish because then we get to eat and everything just tastes that much better after fully exhausting ourselves.

On a similar topic, sometimes people use a poor choice of words. A friend of mine referred to my running/workout routine as strict, regimented and even included the words will power.

I associate such terms with negative situations, things you don’t want to do but push yourself to do anyway. If you know me, you know I rarely do anything I don’t want to do.

I mean, had the judge not ordered me to divorce court by stating a warrant would be out for my arrest should I not attend I never would have appeared and I probably wouldn’t have gone through labor had I been able to pass the childbirthing part off to someone else which I really tried to figure out how to do while breathing between contractions on the way to the hospital.

So yeah, I never really do anything I don’t want to do. In fact, my mother used to write me notes to get out of many a situation.

Don’t want to play gym today? Note. Don’t feel like swimming in camp? Note. Don’t want to go to school today? Note.

I always wanted a note to get out of going to work but realized that might affect getting a paycheck.

I love running. It is what I do. It is an involuntary bodily process that just goes without speaking, is part of my routine and just…well…is.

Food Thoughts:

Talk to me about maple syrup.


I would never buy the sugar free stuff and don’t want to buy the light stuff due to the high fructose corn syrup but the real syrup is super duper high in sugar not to mention pricey.

maple syrup

This whole picking a maple syrup thing is a completely overwhelming task which is almost leading me in the direction of the light syrup but the thought of the HFCS upsets me which then makes me question my insanity for getting worked up for an ingredient that most of America consumes without thinking.

Just tell me which to buy and I won’t say another word.

Oh, and before I go, Happy National Chocolate Chip Day.

chocolate chip hershey bar blondies

I had a bunch of extra Hershey’s Miniatures yesterday so the natural thing to do was to bake Chocolate Chip Blondies with a layer of Hershey Bars in the center.


Who wants the Mr. Goodbars though? Peanut butter inside chocolate, yes but actual nuts inside chocolate, no. Just no.

Be sure to check out what everyone else is thinking about today!


Bloggers – Ever have your post publish yet be missing just about the entire thing!!!???!!!!

Favorite Hershey’s Miniature?

How do you feel about your workout routine?

Ever have your mom write you a note to excuse you from something?




Vacation From Cooking?


The little boy (who really isn’t all that little anymore as I watch him inch closer in height to myself) woke up yesterday morning claiming a sore throat in the same sentence as informing me that the first pitch for Mets opening day would be at 1:00 pm in the afternoon.

Did he really think he would fool me? I mean, I was once a kid too.

Not only did I fake my own illnesses, I read Shel Silverstein’s Where The Sidewalk Ends. Remember little Peggy Ann McKay who cannot go to school today? I believe she had the measles and the mumps, a rash and gash and purple bumps…

I also watched Full House enough on repeat to witness DJ Tanner fake a fever by putting the thermometer under her lamp in order to skip school to sneak out with Kimmie Gibbler to get Stacey Q’s autograph.


I managed to ship him off to school but received a call from the nurses’ office conveniently around 1:05 pm. I then informed the nurse that his sore throat is ironically coinciding with the first pitch of the Mets game at which point she too shipped him on back to class.

I did pick him up a bit early though for his routine Orthodontist appointment. The orthodontist’s office is a drive from where we live which always puts me in the lazy mood when it comes to preparing dinner.

Part of me wanted to stop at the Whole Foods Food Bar after his appointment but my wallet chimed in like an evil angel to inform me that spending $30 on a Monday evening wasn’t worth it when I have plenty of meal options at home.

Last year, right around this time actually, I came up with the concept of a foodcation – a vacation from cooking.

Ideally, I would love a full week off from thinking about, preparing and cooking dinner.

I  never actually took my foodcation but I am back to considering the exact rules and regulations.

  • Will the foodcation apply to all meals? Just lunch and dinner? Just dinner?
  • Will we eat out? A week full of favorite restaurants preparing my salads and other favorites for us?
  • Red Mango, The Cheesecake Factory, sushi and pizza?
  • Or will I go SEMI-HOMEMADE and treat us to the prepared foods from Whole Foods?

A full week of meals out or ordered in could get a bit pricey and I struggle to allow myself to pay $6.99 a pound for someone else to roast my vegetables when I can do it for a fraction of the price.

Maybe I don’t need to take a full week off; maybe I just need to cook and prepare a bit less. Maybe we need to start building in a day or two during the week where we rely on our meals from an outside source without blowing the budget.

It’s funny – so much of what we read involves tips on how to prepare restaurant style meals at home for less. What about tips on picking up the relatively healthy made-for-you meals that don’t cost that much more than preparing something at home and will save you time and energy (and maybe money too)?


1. Pizza

Clearly I still have Saturday’s slice of pizza on my mind.


Sometimes pizza gets a bad wrap. Any one meal will not do you in and really, pizza can easily fit into anyone’s lifestyle on a regular basis.

I actually like whole wheat crust. I love the crisp and dense texture as well as the flavor. I normally make my own using Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough but you know what? I am tired of doing it.

My favorite loaded veggie slice is about four dollars. In fact, most of the specialty slices are around the same price and the regular slices are even less. Paired with a quick salad made at home and you have yourself a terrific and easy weeknight meal.

I don’t recommend ordering the side salad from the pizza place because that’s where they get you on price – $6.50 for a house salad which is a pile of boring lettuce and a tomato slice? Not even in my weakest of moments can I order that and insult my kitchen by letting such a thing enter my home.

Pay attention for the weekly specials at your local pizza place. It can’t hurt to order the pie special (try to avoid the super duper meat lovers with extra cheese) and freeze the leftover slices for a later date.

I may have grown up on Ellios but I no longer keep the rectangular-three-sliced-poor-excuse-for-pizza in my freezer. Instead, I find it fresher to freeze slices from the pizzeria over stocking up on the processed and packaged kind.


2. Chinese/Japanese Lunch Deals

Every Chinese and Japanese restaurant in my area offers a lunch special. The Chinese lunch dishes include brown rice and soup for about six dollars (some places may be a bit more/less).


Steamed shrimp (or chicken) with mixed vegetables is always a great option – just ask for a sauce on the side.

If you think ahead during the day (as in between the hours of 11:00 am – 4:00 pm) you can score a lunch deal, place it in the refrigerator and take it out come dinner time. I used to pick up the lunch deals during my lunch hour from work, store it in the office refrigerator and then bring it home for dinner.

I don’t love sushi take out, however, when you can get three rolls plus a ginger salad and soup for around nine dollars, it maybe worth it once in a while.

3. Red Mango

Of course I had to throw this in.


You already know that I love my Red Mango but I also complain plenty about the price to the point where I often make my own parfaits at home with either frozen yogurt or greek yogurt loaded with fresh berries and granola from my kitchen.

Even if you don’t have a Red Mango near you, think about this:

Sometimes the price of fruit (and really, produce in general) at the grocery stores can be so sky high that slicing up your own strawberries, dumping half (if not all) a container of blueberries into your bowl of greek yogurt (which if you are buying Stonyfield Organic is not exactly cheap) topped off with granola and fancy peanut butter can clock in at about the same price if not more than just going to the yogurt store.

I try to limit my meals at Red Mango since the price went up per ounce but they do sometimes run a weekday special making it a cheaper option than preparing it myself at home and they always have a wide variety of fresh fruit options to make me happy.

I really do the best that I can. I make my weekly list of what’s on sale at which store and sometimes shop several times a week to keep our house stocked with fresh produce and healthy options for the best price possible when sometimes, you just need a break.

If once in a while, or even once a week, you break even or pay an extra dollar to have someone else do the cooking, it may be well worth it for your sanity.

Like overtraining with running, kitchen burn out happens. A rest day or two from cooking won’t do any harm to your body or even the wallet in the overall meal planning picture.


Do you rely on take-out often?

What are your go-to food choices when you don’t feel like cooking or eating from your freezer?

Do you shop supermarket sales or just go to one store regardless of price?

Thinking Out Loud- Pretzel Spoonz And An Ah-Ha Moment


In honor of Amanda, our Thinking Out Loud host, check out the newest pretzels from Snyders:


Pretzel Spoonz! Click on the image or here for the link to the Hungry Girl article all about these new perfect-for-dipping Pretzel Spoonz.

I love a fun utensil but I never really cared for the pretzel.

Are you a pretzel fan? I just never really formed a strong opinion or craving for pretzels. Sort of goes with my indifference towards all things chip-related.

However, give me one of these spoonz, a bowl of melted chocolate and a jar of peanut butter and I can show you how it’s done.


So I have this strict routine when it comes to the music I listen to when I work out:

iTunes playlist is reserved for running only. If I am on the elliptical or the bike or dilly dallying around with the weights (dilly dally is the best way I can describe myself with strength training), I switch to Pandora.

I have a few reasons for this:

1- Pandora tends to annoy me by playing songs I don’t always like so I have to be free to click the thumbs down button or switch the station. When I am running, I can’t be bickering with an app.

2- Saving my iTunes playlist for running makes me excited to hear the songs on the list and less likely to want to fumble with my phone to change them.

The other morning though, I hit the Pandora jackpot:

unnamed (181)

Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline. And if this classic crowd pleaser wasn’t enough, it was followed by this song:

unnamed (182)

I used to play We Didn’t Start The Fire on repeat in the car while I was pregnant thinking that like osmosis, the history loaded into the song would filter through my stomach to my unborn child making him a genius.

It may have worked by the way- the little boy has been a lover of history since the age of two and could tell you all of our nation’s presidents in order along with the placement of each state on the map when he was three.

I love those timeless songs. Billy and anything 80’s will always be at the top of my list.

Remember listening to Journey as a kid over and over and over?

I caught the little boy listened to Journey’s Faithfully the other day… right before he threw me out of his room.

I stopped myself from doing the whole I-am-your-mother-you-will-respect-and-listen-to-me thing because  I had a quick and sudden realization.

An Ah-Ha moment if you will…


I couldn’t get angry with him, I was once a kid. I was once the same kid who was obnoxious and wanted to be left alone, especially in the privacy of my own room to talk to my friends on the phone and do as I please.

He has it worse than I did-  If I walk in and he is on the phone, not only am I the annoying mother, I am now the annoying mother on camera for all of his friends to see.

I still can’t grasp the face time or why anyone wants to constantly be seen while talking but I will respect it as best I can.

Have I mentioned school has been closed all week for winter recess? Yes it has been tons of fun over here.

Even though I have been busy dodging various balls being thrown at me, I did make it over to another Trader Joe’s in my quest to locate my onion rings.

unnamed (186)

It seems that the Trader Joe’s I normally shop at won’t be selling my beloved rings because they don’t have enough room.

If you ask me (which they didn’t but maybe you want my opinion) there is always room for something you find important. Why they don’t find onion rings important is beyond me.

That’s fine though, I can drive in the other direction to a different Trader Joe’s location where they clearly have priorities in order.

And look what else I spotted:

unnamed (183)

Frozen organic pizza crusts all rolled out and ready to be topped and baked.

I normally buy their whole wheat pizza dough in the refrigerated case and will probably continue to do so because it takes up less room.

It is warm again this morning – 39 degrees. I do think I will be taking my run outdoors today before I head into the city for a Healthy Living-type luncheon event.

Before I go eat breakfast (fresh pot of oatmeal currently cooking) I must share a link with you that I came across yesterday:

The 10 Stages For Going For A Run When It’s Freezing Out – You must read this, especially if you have been trying to run outside through the winter.

Be sure to check out what everyone else is thinking about today!


Favorite pretzel – rods, sticks, twists, thins, flips, braids- what am I forgetting? I don’t have a favorite but I can tell you that I hate those yellow boxes with the thin salty sticks from when we were kids. Ick.

Do you use Pandora or a different music app?

Favorite Billy Joel song? Uptown Girl!



Mighty Maple Is Back In My Pantry


Thank goodness Spring is really only a few weeks away (in my mind that is) because my 11 mile run outdoors Saturday morning was just down right horrendous due to the weather conditions. This was one of those runs where you mentally battle to keep yourself going.

For some reason, I had it in my mind that I was running outside, sort of assuming the temperature would be somewhere over 20 degrees. Every degree counts, trust me.

When I woke up Saturday morning and saw it was more like 14 degrees, I questioned my sanity as I layered up and headed out the door.

unnamed (93)

I have become so accustomed to running indoors this winter that besides the frigid air and the dodging of ice patches, the layers of clothing needed to run Saturday were so totally weighing on me that I felt as though I could barely move and couldn’t pick up speed for the life of me.

I would have pictures of my layers for you but my phone died towards the end of my run, most likely because I spent many miles on the phone with my friends who were kind enough to be up so early to keep me mentally distracted.

Why didn’t I just go home and call it a day? Ha, never.

Why didn’t I switch to the treadmill where it was warm? Hmm. Good question.

Anyway, I did a little food shopping Friday afternoon (Trader Joe’s and Target) to free up the weekend and avoid having to take my son with me since that always leads to extra money spent on items I would never buy.


Fruits and Vegetables:

  • Butternut Squash
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Frozen peppers and Brussels sprouts
  • Apples – because I never have enough
  • Fresh Berries – haven’t had fresh containers in the house for months!
  • Pineapple- for a recipe coming this week!


  • Gardein Meatless Crumbles – Never bought this before
  • Chia Seeds
  • Tomato Paste
  • Trader Joe’s brand Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Nature’s Path Organic Dark Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

What I forgot (because I always forget something):

  • Trader Joe’s Sweet Chili Sauce
  • Coconut Oil Cooking Spray – always need an extra in the pantry

If you have never tried Trader Joe’s Sweet Chili Sauce, you just must remember it next time you shop there.

unnamed (12)

Took this picture before I ran out of the chili sauce.

In cause you were curious, these are staples in our house:

  • Island Soyaki
  • Sweet Chili Sauce
  • Carolina Gold Barbeque Sauce
  • Coconut Oil Cooking Spray
  • Balsamic Vinaigrettemy son loves this dressing

Now, even though I didn’t schlep my son along with me to Trader Joe’s and Target, I did feel the need to locate a few new snacks for him. It’s really hard to figure out what to send him each day in his backpack with the nut-free rules and all.

unnamed (97)

I love Nature’s Path Organic products and I knew I couldn’t go wrong with a Dark Chocolate Chip Granola Bar.

unnamed (99)

May I just throw in here my Red Mango yogurt from Saturday – Red Mango serves Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Granola in the toppings bar, in case you were wondering.

I also picked up a container of prepackaged apple slices mixed with grapes.

unnamed (95)

Of course I could have made my son a fresh fruit mix each day but in case you didn’t know, or in case you forgot what it was like to be a kid, children really like “packaged” snacks.

I don’t know if it is the marketing blasted at them or the fact that most processed and dare I say, junk snacks, come in individual bags – whatever the reason, I know my son prefers me to hand him something wrapped or packaged, even if it is a bag of apples and grapes.

unnamed (69)

I don’t need a packaged snack – all I need is an apple with a dab of peanut butter and I am a happy girl.

unnamed (68)

All is right in the world when my pantry is restocked with Mighty Maple again.

The other day I finished the last jar of Mighty Maple so I went without it until  I was able to locate a few jars yesterday. Even though I still had a good 14 jars of Crunch Time in my pantry, it just wasn’t the same.

I would say it’s human nature to just want what you can’t have but when it comes to Mighty Maple, I am pretty sure it’s a case of true love – nothing compares.

The only packaged snack at the moment on my list is the new Quest Cookies & Cream bars that just hit store shelves. All weekend I meant to get to the store to pick them up but of course, I forgot.

You know, people debate the whole are-Quest-Bars-really-clean-eating and question the ingredients even though Quest claims to be the cleanest protein bar on the market.

If you want my opinion, and that’s all this is, my opinion, if the majority of your diet is “clean”, does it really matter? I don’t eat very many Quest bars or any other packaged bar or snack but I do feel that just about anything you enjoy has a place in the diet.

After reading the below article, I have decided my theory will have to apply to the cherry on top of my Red Mango creations.

Five Additives You May Want To Avoid

I like my one cherry on top. It makes me happy. Don’t take my happiness away.

The internet can really make you insane, yes?

Have a great Monday!


Three things on your grocery list from the weekend?

Favorite peanut butter?

Have you tried the new Quest Cookies & Cream bar? I heard it’s terrific!










Sometimes I Am A Pitbull


Well good morning.


I was a very lucky girl today. The temperature when I woke up was a balmy 32 degrees signifying the return to my running path.

I am pretty sure it had been a good two weeks since I went for an outdoor run. While two weeks doesn’t seem all that long, it’s amazing how quickly one forgets what is required to run outdoors in the winter. Even when they blog relentlessly about their layering system.


I know you wanted to see my layers in the form of a pile of laundry.

Before I set out for my run, part of me was nervous. This week has been draining for some reason and my treadmill miles were few and far between. Nothing ached or hurt or bothered me this morning but mentally I questioned how my run would go – which is not something I normally do.

Part of me wondered if I would “forget” how to run outside in the cold, if I had it in me to run long or if I was even in the mood to run. Yes, I swear such a thing crossed my mind.

Within the first five steps though, all was right in the world.

In fact, my warm up mile chimed in around 8:20 min/mile which is pretty darn lovely.

Since long runs shouldn’t focus on time, I tried to enjoy the fresh air and even chatted with my good friend for several miles on the phone.

She was on her way to treat herself to a break in the form of a hot yoga. My friend is a wife, mother of two boys and full-time teacher.

This reminded me of something I read this morning before my run. One of my favorite dessert blogs, Confessions Of A Cookbook Queen, discussed and shared a controversial link  from a woman claiming motherhood and marriage to be “super easy”.

I won’t share the link to this horrendous excuse for an article; rather, I invite you to click on over to Confessions Of A Cookbook Queen to read it in full. I would much rather promote good desserts.

Anyone with a Mrs. and/or the label of “mommy” to their name knows there is nothing “easy” about either position and when the two are combined? Two of lives biggest challenges and joys that this poor excuse for a woman has never and most likely will never experience.

Clearly this woman has never been up with a vomiting child at 2:00 am or had to figure out how to change a diaper in the backseat of a car without wipes. I will venture to guess she doesn’t know what it is like to shlep kids in and out of car seats, in and out of strollers and shopping carts just to run errands and make sure food is in the pantry, let alone prepare a meal with a baby attached to your body in a contraption they call a Bjorn.

I will go out on a limb to assume this Article-Writing Person is not married because if she was, she would know how difficult it truly is to keep a marriage happily on track, especially when children and life happen along the way.

She doesn’t know what it is like to finally get the kids to bed after a long day either at home or in the office (or both!) want to lay down and hear silence – only to have a darling husband waiting for his turn for attention.

We women are all different – some of us work outside of the home, some work inside of the home and some of us do both. We all come from different backgrounds, live in different states and countries and follow different traditions.

Some of us may nurse, bottle feed, go straight to sippy cup or even, dare I say, put soda in a baby bottle. We use different strollers, sleep techniques and follow different schedules.

But, when we see each other in passing, we give that silent smile and nod because we know.

We know that no matter how different our daily lives may be, we are part of the same club. We go through the same challenges with our marriages, with our children and with ourselves. Our patience is tested on an hourly basis and sometimes, just making it through the day can seem questionable.

I challenge you, Ms. Article-Writing Person to discuss your thoughts with me. I would love for you to further describe how  mothers and wives have it easy.

Even more, may I provide you with an opportunity to discuss single motherhood with me? Surely you must have some opinion on us single moms as well, yes?

Should you take up my offer to chat, I will even use my twitter account and host a twitter party in your honor.

Fact: My friends sometimes refer to me as a Pitbull – super sweet and innocent until something annoys me…and then? Well, then I let loose and attack.

Now that this is all off my chest, please excuse me as I have worked up an appetite.


13.13 miles will do that to you, you know?






%d bloggers like this: