Thinking Out Loud – Random Thoughts And Rainbow Cookies


Amanda, our Thinking Out Loud link-up host, is currently on a beautiful beach somewhere in Hawaii soaking up the sunshine. While I miss her terribly, she deserves this trip after a grueling winter in Edmonton where the temperatures have been far worse than any Polar Vortex a New Yorker like me can complain about.


1. There is nothing like a new pair of running shoes.


I know we all have different feet but seriously, these Adidas Energy Boost are the best running shoes ever. Like, Ever.

I would have loved a different color this time around but the store didn’t have another option. Remember, the color of your running shoes means nothing compared to the importance of the fit.

2. I keep trying to use my gym key to open the front door of my house and my house key to get into the gym. Where is my head?

3. Peanut butter can go with anything. Except maybe for pizza. My son and I have this conversation all of the time. You name the food, I will tell you peanut butter can only enhance the culinary experience.

But pizza? I don’t think so…although, hmm. If pineapple works on pizza, and peanut butter is awesome with pineapple, maybe peanut butter and pineapple would work together on pizza? Maybe we need to try this.

Click here for an article from Shari’s Berries which offers us a detailed look into the many different ways to eat your peanut butter that you probably haven’t thought about trying. 

4. Is there anything worse than opening the door to the dryer only to find a full load of clean clothes you didn’t know about?


And here I thought I was missing socks because they were all due to be washed, not realizing they were clean and waiting for me to fold.

5. My son and I made a hockey-related bet yesterday. If I was right, he had to buy me ice cream. If I was wrong, I had to buy him ice cream.

Either way, we were getting ice cream. You so want to hang out with us, don’t you…

When we made the ice cream bet, I knew in the back of my mind we meant self-serve frozen yogurt.


If your yogurt outweighs your hot fudge, you are doing it all wrong.

6. Let’s talk rainbow cookies. Or, as some folks refer to them, seven-layer cookies. Actually, I have a feeling that people outside the tri-state area may not even know what kind of cookie I am talking about at all.


Probably my most favorite cookie as a child, I am feeling the need to perhaps tackle the process of making of making my own. I have had rainbow cookies on my mind since last night when my son loaded his frozen yogurt cup with pieces of the cookies.

You should know that he loads so many random toppings into his cup that you aren’t even tempted to eat his leftovers because the flavors don’t combine well. At all. Not that I have tried or anything.

Now, it is a lengthy process to make the rainbow cookie. Smitten Kitchen has a recipe for the cookie but I would love to find one without artificial food coloring.

If I am making something at home, I really try to be mindful of the artificial stuff, especially food colorings, to the best of my ability.

7. The nice weatherman this morning has informed me that after today, we are headed for a bit of a warm up. Outdoor runs appear to be on my horizon for the foreseeable future.

I am already up to my spring running wardrobe, especially my race outfit for next month’s Fitness Magazine Women’s Half. I have my eye on this new Run Times tank from Lulu Lemon.

To finish off today’s randomness, this ecard made me laugh this morning:



Be sure to check out the rest of the Thinking Out Loud fun!

Most interesting way that you like to eat your peanut butter?

Have you bought spring workout apparel yet?

How often do you forget you have clothes in the wash or in the dryer?





Weekend Plus Fabulous Guacamole Recipe


I couldn’t help but laugh to myself only an hour or so after my post on Saturday.

Remember my “summer-like” remark about the weather for Saturday’s long run?

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I left my house to go out for the day and suddenly found myself caught in what seemed like a blizzard.


Explain it I can’t and neither could the radio station I tuned into after hanging up my bluetooth phone call in favor of receiving some guidance from the meteorologist who continued to tell New Yorkers we were experiencing 42 degrees and sunshine.

You know what else I am having a hard time understanding?


My beautiful Red Mango parfait will now cost A DOLLAR MORE should I want any flavor other than original.

Now, I love the original and will usually fill my cup with it but when the greek flavors are available, I can’t say no.

Yes, of course, I gave the Red Mango employee a piece of my mind. And once again, I remembered to do my crazy-insane-yogurt lady flipping out in a calm, polite manner.

He responded kindly with some coupons so for now I will remain quiet… but the constant price increases are not helping me in my struggle to remain loyal to my weekly parfait obsession.

I do have a new obsession. Oh yes.

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I took some time over the weekend to go through the Happy Herbivore cookbook and while everything looks delicious, one recipe jumped out at me as a MUST-MAKE IMMEDIATELY.

guac snack plate

Not the roasted vegetables and sweet potato fries on my snack plate- those are my own.

We need to discuss the Sweet Pea Guacamole you see on the plate.

That’s right. Peas added to the avocado mixture to create Sweet Pea Guacamole.  When I tell you delicious, I mean delicious.

The recipe calls for a cup of sweet peas with half of an avocado which automatically lightens up  the caloric load of your typical guacamole plus adds some protein from the peas. Yes, peas have some protein, I believe 5 grams per serving.

I don’t care for the extra work of making guacamole since I am totally satisfied just eating sliced avocado on top of anything and everything but this recipe was super simple and so good that I wouldn’t mind making a double or triple batch and having it for a few days in the refrigerator.

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The recipe recommended using a blender or food processor – go with a food processor. I used my blender which really didn’t get the job done at all. I didn’t care if every pea was completely pureed but if that is something that would bother you, either mash them well first or use a food processor.

Adapted from Happy Herbivore (because I can never follow a recipe):

  • 1 cup sweet peas – thawed
  • 1/2 avocado (or more for added avocado flavor/texture)
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp (or maybe a little more) of Trader Joe’s Carolina Gold Barbeque Sauce
  • Juice from two slices of a lime
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • Splash of siracha sauce

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust according to your liking.

I added more cumin and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. The Happy Herbivore recipe also called for onion flakes but I didn’t have any. Also, you can absolutely use a different barbeque sauce. The recipe called for a Worcestershire Sauce (a recipe was even provided in the cookbook) as well as a tablespoon of nondairy milk. I would have used skim milk but honestly forgot the ingredient yet didn’t notice until I looked at the recipe again after eating.

guac with onion ring

I have never been a chip and dip person but I feel like topping everything I eat with this sweet pea guacamole. Yes, including my onion rings.

I even wish that the veggie burger I had over the weekend at Zinburger would have included this guacamole instead of just the avocado on top.

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Looks like a fabulous meal, right? It was just OK. Don’t you hate when that happens?

Nothing worse than a meal that looks like it should be amazing yet ends up tasting just OK.

It is not OK to be just OK in my book. Not worth eating anything that is JUST OK.

Anyway, I experimented with some other recipes of my own inspiration (dessert of course) over the weekend so hopefully I will get to sharing those some time this week.

Right now I need to try to get some work done before the little boy is up. There is no school today so I will be taking him and his best pal to the Islanders game. I know, I know, Mother of the Year strikes again.

WAIT. Before I go, has anyone else seen that Lulu Lemon came out with compression socks?


They come in a light pink too – I saw them both in the store.

I didn’t exactly read rave reviews on these compression socks (mainly about the lack of the compression part) so I am curious if any of you have tried them or know anyone who has tried them.

It’s funny – I haven’t even been wearing my  Pro Compression socks at all and haven’t noticed that they are missing. My legs feel pretty great these days before, during and after my runs so I do wonder if I ever needed them in the first place.

Something to think about while I run this morning which, in case you are wondering, is possibly my last outdoor run for a bit with another cold front and snow storm looming. I refuse to call a cold front by the new media-given name of “Polar Vortex”. Is it just me, or does it seem like the media names regular weather occurrences simply for more marketing power?

Enjoy your Monday!



 Do you eat avocado as is or do you prefer guacamole? I never liked guacamole until recently but I think I am just as happy with plain avocado.

Do you wear compression socks? Which ones?

Are you off from work today?

How do you feel about this term “polar vortex”?




Three Tip Tuesday- Revisiting The Winter Workout Gear



While I am totally without a doubt missing my outdoor runs, I would be lying if I said the treadmill hasn’t been kind to me over the last few days.

It really hasn’t been so terrible. Not amazing, but it’s been a halfway decent experience.

And really, if you are looking to see more pictures of me, being inside allows me to snap a few more photos.


If only I was good at taking pictures of myself without cutting off my head.

Yes. That is a Fitbit One you see attached to my tank. You caught me.

I have really been wanting to tell you about it but I have been waiting until I wore it a bit longer in order to feel comfortable enough to understand what I am even thinking and saying about it.

My friends at Verizon Wireless asked me if I would be interested in wearing and reviewing the Fitbit One so of course I said yes just to see what all this movement tracking hoopla is about. I have been wearing it for the past couple of weeks and I absolutely promise to talk to you about it soon. Pinky promise.

Anyway, even though I have been cooped up indoors for my workouts for what feels like eternity, I decided we needed to revisit the topic of winter workout gear just so we could discuss what is working and what isn’t necessary for your outdoor winter workouts.


If my running path is clear of ice and snow and the temps are higher than 15 degrees without wind, I am outside.

Outside in layers that is. You must layer if you want to brave the elements.

I have been asked on more than one occasion what exactly is in involved in my layering system for my runs:


Layer #1- Lulu tank with built-in bra.

I bought three of these tanks last year and hate to say I forget the style but it doesn’t matter much- they don’t make this specific top anymore.

Basically, you need a base layer that is sweat-wicking.

Layer #2 – Lulu Lemon Run Swiftly Long Sleeve– There is absolutely no substitute for this top. None.

Not only is the Run Swiftly top soft and comfy, it washes amazing, retains it’s shape and doesn’t shrink (which is good for someone like me who never remembers to hang dry anything).

Layer #3 – GapFit Half Zip or other GapFit pullovers

Are GapFit items as pretty as Lulu? No but the price is much better and they serve their purpose rather well.

Layer #4 – Vest or Jacket


You need a top layer – jacket, vest, pullover; something to keep you warm and safe from the elements. And something with a pocket preferably to stash your tissues, keys, jelly beans, phone etc. ( I currently alternate between a Nike Vest and Saucony Jacket).

Sometimes I run a mile or two and remove a layer. At least you have the option when you are bundled in four easy- to-shed tops.


Lulu Lemon Brisk Run Neck Warmer


We talked about it several weeks back and I decided you really need it.

I bought it last year and didn’t love it as much then as I do now.

It saves me from turning around and going back to bed. I keep it pulled up over my mouth until I adjust to the elements. It is lightweight, sweat wicking and the perfect thing to keep the neck and face warm.

Why I didn’t love this neck thing last year I don’t know. All I know is that you absolutely need it if you want to run outside in the winter.


You need gloves. Tech gloves. Which pair? I can’t really say.

Remember that I bought the Target Champion tech gloves? They are just OK. They don’t tap the screen of my phone all that well every time. They do keep my hands warm and for half the price of most of the other gloves, that is enough for me. Could they do a better job? Yes.


You already know you need to keep your head covered as you lose most of your body heat from your noggin. I opted not to buy a special running hat and make do with the hats I already have in my drawer.

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My cute heart hat works. It serves the purpose.

As for the GapFit pants though? Eh.


I have two pairs: One pair stays up, one pair slides down.

Nothing compares to the Lulu Lemon Run Inspire Crop II pants.


Not every top you buy needs to have the thumbholes.


Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE this feature but when you are layering, in my opinion, one thumb hole shirt, maximum of two, is sufficient.

Also, I have found that I do best when I size UP IN TOPS rather than stick to my usual size or even what I try on and think fits.

I know I have said this before but a size 2 in Lulu is really an XXS. Even if that is your size, even if you think it fits, don’t you want to be able to move?

I buy most of my LULU tops a size OR TWO up. Although they don’t shrink, I love that have some extra length, can move my arms without issue and the top is long enough to cover my tushy when it is freezing out.

As for the GAP, I learned my lesson last year when I bought true to size.

Gap shrinks. Don’t care if they tell you it won’t; IT DOES.

This year I got all smart and remembered to size up my recent GapFit purchases which has given me plenty of wiggle room without being too big and also keeps me from freaking when I pull the clothes out of the dryer since they never should have landed in the dryer in the first place.

You don’t need to spend crazy on your workout wardrobe.

I run/workout on a daily basis and make it work with two Lulu Run Swiftly Long Sleeves, One Vest, One Jacket, a few tanks and a couple of pairs of pants. It may mean more loads of laundry but that is cheaper than purchasing several items of clothing.

Don’t forget to routinely check Lulu’s We Made To Much sale section of their website – I even spotted some Run Swiftly tops on sale yesterday.

If you have yet to run outside in the cold, please don’t be afraid —Unless it is basically below zero degrees outside as it is this morning.

Not even my four layers, neck warmer and heart hat can keep us warm out there. Inside it is.

I love the treadmill. I love the treadmill. I love the treadmill….repeat after me…I love the treadmill, I love the treadmill……



Which items are your favorite for winter workouts?

What isn’t working for you this year?

Do you size up or buy true to size?

Which tech gloves do you use?

Have you tried the Fitbit or other tracking device yet?




Frozen Yogurt Happy Hour



How do you define happy hour?


I am such a child, aren’t I?  I mean, most adults (is that what I am, an adult?) go for the hard stuff to unwind.

My version of the hard stuff is actually soft. And frozen. Covered in hot fudge.

I needed a happy hour last night. This week has been long and hard mentally and my body craved some extra TLC in the form of a big cup of cookies and cream frozen yogurt covered in hot fudge, crunchies and who knows what else.

Sometimes I get a bit burned out from writing. Actually, the burn out comes from constantly shifting gears and thoughts between the blog, the final course for my certification and another large writing venture we will talk about in the near future.

This weekend couldn’t come soon enough. Time for a break. And maybe some onion rings. I don’t think I have had one in a while.

But not a break from my long run, that’s for sure. I still look forward to that every Saturday morning.

The idea of running at least 10 miles may seem mentally challenging, physically exhausting and down right nutty for some, especially when you hear me say I am tired but there is just something about getting lost in all those miles that is relaxing.

Anyway, I enjoyed my happy hour dessert while walking around the mall in peace.

Of course I popped into Lulu – but I didn’t buy anything. My Black Friday order from the Gap arrived the other day.


I am quite the colorful palette, aren’t I? It is hard to tell from the picture but the pants are an interesting shade of plum and the top is black.

OK I feel bad cutting off my own head but that’s only because I look blurry – see:


I don’t even care who sees me mismatching. I paid next to nothing for decent quality workout apparel and most importantly, the pants stay up while I run.

The truth is, people judge you no matter what you wear. So let them judge away on this outfit, at least I have some extra money in my pocket to spend on giant cups of self-serve frozen yogurt. Or the Whole Foods Food bar, I have been fighting the urge to go there all week.

I am pretty sure that the people I pass on my running path have what to say about me regardless of my attire anyway.

I will openly admit I am probably the least friendly runner alive. And that is OK, as long as I admit it.

I made a stop at Trader Joe’s yesterday in order to give myself some freedom from errands over the weekend.


That little plan backfired since I forgot a few of the necessities. I always do that. Even with a list I forget something.

There are no Granny Smith apples in the picture because I have been loving Miss Pink Lady at the moment.

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And the little boy loves taking a Honey Crisp apple to school each day. I am telling you, we are well on our way to getting him his 5 a day.

Have a wonderful weekend and don’t forget to enter the #Kindawesome Giveaway ! The giveaway runs through Wednesday.



What are you doing this weekend? Any races?

How do you unwind when you are burned out?

How often do you forget what you intended to buy when grocery shopping? Do you carry a list?

Tell the truth- do you always match when you workout or do you throw together what ever is clean?


Three Tip Tuesday – My GapFit Pants Didn’t Fall Down!


Catchy title for a post, yes?

Well, when you run in pants that don’t fall down, it is something to get excited about.

Yesterday morning was freezing. Actually it was below freezing. Quite a few degrees below freezing.


I layered myself all up:

  • Lulu tank
  • Lulu Run Swiftly long sleeve
  • GapFit half zip with hood
  • Vest
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Lulu neckwarmer thing.

Those gray pants you see in the picture are GapFit Gfast leggings that I purchased last year but hid in the back of my drawer because every time I ran in them, they would slip and slide.

I will brave the elements. I will run in the rain, in the heat, in the freezing cold. I will run through the bad runs, mediocre runs  and the runs where my feet feel all sorts of weird but give me pants that slide down and I will quit right then and there.

For some reason, I decided to try these blasted GapFit pants again.

Imagine my excitement though when I noticed they didn’t budge. Not a drop to the side, not a slip of the waist. Not even once.

Now, it is quite possible that the shirt layer I elected to tuck inside the waistband helped.

Or, it is also quite possible that my lower half has bulked up since last winter assisting the pants to stay at the desired place near the hip.

I have not gained weight, although really, I don’t know that for sure. I don’t own a scale.

I would totally love to fully discuss why I don’t own a scale and why I don’t pay attention to what I weigh but that’s a whole other post for a different day.

The bottom line is, I now have full length running pants for this winter and I don’t have to go and spend $100 on new Lulu pants!

So, if I did gain weight or bulk up somewhere, my wallet is grateful.


Of course today’s tips have to do with the upcoming holidays, how could they not?

Although, if you are looking for tips on how to squeeze in and maximize a 5-minute workout in the bathroom of the house you are at for Thanksgiving so that you can quickly burn off some cornbread, I can’t help you.

What I can help you with is how to happily indulge in the flavors of the holiday.




Skipping meals is never recommended. This rule applies for holidays as well.

Oh, so you think that you can save up all of your calories for later in the day? Think again.

Not only are you slowing your metabolism, but you are setting yourself up for disaster.


Choosing to skip meals leaves you overhungry, overcranky and more than likely to overeat beyond what you would indulge in any way for the holiday.

There is absolutely no reason you can’t have your normal breakfast, normal lunch and may I even say, snack before you reach the festive meal.

Often times people look at holiday meals as forbidden foods, labeling them GOOD and BAD, walking around saying, “Oh, I am going to eat so BAD later therefore I better eat GOOD now, or worse, NOT EAT AT ALL.

This is NOT OK.

Thanksgiving is but one day of the year. You will not gain weight or destroy everything you have worked for in one day. Or even two days.

Give yourself a break.

It is OK to indulge and enjoy the flavors. It is what you do the rest of the year that matters. It is your overall lifestyle, your daily runs and workouts, the strive to eat a balanced diet and keeping up with everything in moderation.


You heard me, ENJOY!

The phrase “just a sliver” has no place in my vocabulary. In fact, spell check should underline sliver  in a bold ugly shade of red.

If you love stuffing, eat it. Have seconds. Have a few rounds of sweet potatoes, corn pudding, apple crisp and mashed potatoes and pie.


Eat what you love, what you look forward to all year. If you label the foods you fancy as forbidden or only allow yourself a teensy, tiny amount, I can pretty much promise that you won’t feel satisfied, go home hungry and end up eating again.

With this in mind, I will say to avoid loading up on any unnecessary appetizers or foods that you don’t totally admire. Leave room in your stomach for the good stuff.

This is the Festive Meal. Not your Last Meal. No need to eat everything in sight.

Choose the foods you love and skip the ones you don’t. You can tell Aunt Bethany that Meredith said you didn’t eat her quiche because you needed to leave room in your stomach for apple crisp.


Please, please, please. Do not skip breakfast Friday morning to “make up” for all that you ate on Thanksgiving.

Do I need to explain again what skipping meals will do to you?

Proceed as usual. Have your morning bowl of oats, peanut butter and jelly English muffin, plate of eggs or two-ingredient pancake as I am sure I will be eating.

Do not get angry with yourself for waking up hungry. Do not punish your body for operating as it normally does each and every day of the year.

You should be hungry! You just slept a few hours and need to break the fast and get your metabolism going for the day.

Even if you think you are still full,  even if you feel bloated since you ate foods you aren’t used to, please rev your metabolism with breakfast.

Drink extra water, throw in some cups of green tea, consume your fruits and veggies and you will feel just fine.

***Links of interest from Runner’s World***

The Best Foods To Eat This Thanksgiving To Improve Your Running

How Sweet Potatoes Can Help Your Running

Good thing I have been grating sweet potatoes like nobody’s business for my sweet potato latkes.

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I promise to share my recipe this week. Be patient, it isn’t even Hanukkah yet. I feel like I am talking to the little boy.



Are you ever guilty of skipping meals?

Favorite pants to run in?

What are you most looking forward to eating this Thanksgiving?

Do you make your own latkes?














Rationalizing The Lulu Fluff Over Jacket, Holiday Shopping And Some Recipes


It’s Friday. Wow. Week. A. Blur.

I was so consumed with telling you about my epic Panera hot chocolate experience yesterday that I never got around to saying I ran 10 miles on Wednesday.

It was a fabulous run and my feet felt great. In fact, I didn’t even notice them. I have said it before and I will say it again – you know you are having a good run when you forget you are running AND  you don’t notice your feet.

Since I am trying to be smart, I made sure to cross train yesterday on the elliptical to avoid overpounding the pavement and may do something light and quick this morning to save myself for my long run tomorrow morning.

If you are curious as to what my mind has been thinking about obsessively, here is an image for you:


I want this. Lulu Fluff Over Pull Over Jacket. In either color.


Here’s the situation. This lovely, cozy, functional and pretty running jacket is filled with 800-fill-power premium goose down.

I am allergic to goose-down.

Part of me is happy to have this allergy at the moment because it eliminates any possibility of purchasing this pricey Lulu beauty.

The other part of me is rationalizing how running and risking an allergy attack may be worth it somehow.


The little boy asked me what I wanted for Hanukkah (which is next week already, geez) and I said no gifts, just good behavior.

He went with gifts.

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And already gave them to me.

He picked them out all by himself, used his own money and couldn’t contain his excitement long enough to hold off until the first night of Hanukkah.

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I already sparkled up one nail on each of my hands. It makes a nice touch to my Essie pink of the week.

The best part of his thoughtful gifts is that he read the ingredients and questioned if they are OK for me to use.

I have raised him well. I am a proud mother.

You know what else I am proud of?

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Sometimes I contemplate removing my 13.1 polka dot magnet but then I realize how helpful it is to spot my car in a parking lot so I leave it on.

Not to mention, seeing the 13.1 reminds me every day of my accomplishment.

Did you see this article? If you haven’t read it, click now and read. The nerve of some people. I earned my 13.1 thank you very much.

I also advise that you read Cait’s view on this article as well.  You know Cait, our favorite Arty Runner Chick. Gotta love her and her love of running.

Anyway, if you are wondering what I will be doing this weekend besides running, you will most likely be able to find me in a store or a mall looking for Hanukah gifts for my son who needs nothing  and various friends and relatives who need nothing either.

Just being honest. Who NEEDS anything these days?  I mean, besides me needing that pretty running jacket that could cause an allergy attack at any time.

Before I go, I want to share with you a link to a Thanksgiving Recipe. I know I know, Thanksgiving recipes everywhere you turn but I must show you something I want to make. Like now.


Sweet Potato Stuffed Apples Topped With Toasted Marshmallows from Iowa Girl Eats. Um, yes please.

If you ask me, this combo can work any day of the year. In fact, all this recipe needs is some peanut butter to complete the three foods I consume on a daily basis. I bet it would be delicious with Mighty Maple peanut butter mixed in.

And wait, one more recipe link because I am suddenly feeling all inspired:

Hungry Girl’s Best Of Thanksgiving Recipes

Have a great weekend!



What do you think of the Lulu jacket?

Do you have foods you consume every day of the year? I absolutely eat an apple a day, peanut butter every day and just about a sweet potato a day.

Do you have a 13.1 or 26.2 or any type of race magnet on your car?




Red Mango, Running Gloves And KT Tape


I never made it to Panera Bread for the new Hot Chocolate with the chocolate chip marshmallows.

Did you try it? How was it?

I did get to Red Mango though. Of course I did.


We should start playing “Guess How Much Meredith’s Red Mango Parfait Cost This Week”. Wouldn’t that be fun? No? Oh.

This beauty only cost me 54 cents!

OK, to be fair, I had a $5 reward from using my Red Mango Club Card, but, if you are decent at math, that means the whole parfait only came to $5.54! Sure beats last week’s price of $11.00.

I went to a different Red Mango, one of the only Red Mango locations remaining that isn’t a self-serve store.

The girl who works behind the counter makes the parfaits up all nice and big yet costs a gazillion dollars less.

I do have to drive a bit further for this fabulous Red Mango location but driving for what I love has never been an issue.

In fact, I loved Saturday’s parfait so much that I planned our Sunday slightly around it so that I could have one again.

Thank goodness the little boy never says no to Red Mango. I wouldn’t go for no nor would I go for a tantrum.

Actually, it would probably be me throwing the tantrum if he disagreed with my lunch of choice.


Two gigantic parfaits (he even requested fruit and flax granola) all for the price I paid FOR ONE PARFAIT last week.

I must have been on a savings safari this weekend because I even scored running gloves at Target which are half the price as the Lulu Lemon gloves.

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I see absolutely no difference between these Champion gloves and Lulu’s version – except for the price!

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Please note that I bought the size M/L and I have small hands. If you intend to purchase them, I am going to advise you to try them on to decide which size is best.

On Friday I mentioned my quest to find warmer running socks. I didn’t come across a pair but I should probably address why my foot was covered in pink Saturday morning.

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw the picture.


How pretty that the  KT Tape matched my polish? Essie’s Madison Ave-Hue.

Why did I need KT Tape? I don’t really know for sure, I just know that something has been bothering me on the tops of my feet, more the right than the left.

Almost like a shin splinty feeling, nothing that stops me in my tracks but I notice it and felt like my right foot just needed a bit more support before I headed out for my run.

If you have never tried KT Tape, you must. I am a strong believer that KT Tape is a medicine cabinet essential. You never know when you will need it.

My run on Saturday went surprisingly well; time totally flew by to the point where 12 miles were done before I knew it.

Hmm. It sounds so weird to write that “12 miles flew by” but if you have ever run a long distance (or any distance), you understand what I am saying.

As for my foot, it really feels OK almost all of the time. I really don’t notice that shin splinty feeling (the only way I can describe it) until about half a mile in and it does go away.

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I sometimes wish I could run in two different pairs of sneakers just to figure out which one is best, don’t you?

I tried switching up my shoes yesterday in an effort to pinpoint the cause of my discomfort but I have come to no conclusions.

That’s the thing – you can try changing your shoes, blaming your path, the weather, the treadmill, the pavement, googling each and every random symptom when deep down, you kind of sort of know that it is simply overuse causing your aches and pains.

Last week I realized that my weekly mileage is on the high-end of normal for me and that high-end has remained high for several weeks in a row. I have been around or above 35 miles a week and for me, that is a lot.

Please note the words: FOR ME.

So many of the amazing bloggers I follow each day consider 35 miles a week their low-end, their recovery week or even just a long run for a Saturday.

We are all different. And we need to remember that. Sometimes, especially if you follow a ton of running blogs, you start to read numbers of 7 mile daily runs or a half marathon preceded by 10 miles and you start to think it is the average thing to do.

You aren’t jealous, no, you just start to routinely think in terms of those higher numbers when in reality, those numbers may or may not work for you.

I scaled back a bit last week and even though I am participating in the Pile On The Miles Challenge, I am giving thought to scaling back even more.

I mentioned to a friend the other day that I am considering taking 5 to 6 days off from running and strictly cross-training just to see.

See what? I don’t really know exactly but it can’t hurt.

The muscles and bones could certainly use a break from pounding the pavement.

So why does it sound as though I am on the fence about this little plan?

I am stubborn. And a runner. Not a good combination.



Did you try Panera’s New Hot Chocolate?

Which running gloves do you wear?

Ever have top of the foot pain like I described?






Three Tip Tuesday- Saving Money on Your Workout Apparel

Remember the picture yesterday when I looked like I was about to rob a bank or a bakery? I wonder how often bakeries are robbed of their cakes and cookies. I don’t hear about it too often on the news. Actually, I have never heard about a robber holding up a bakery. Maybe  bad guys don’t have a sweet tooth.

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Anyway, besides showcasing the Lulu neckwarmer, the top I am wearing in this picture is my absolute cold weather running favorite.

It is the Lulu Lemon Run Swiftly Tech long sleeve top. And I love every inch of it.

Super soft, lightweight yet warm, sweat wicking, stays in place and washes well without shrinking, losing shape or losing its soft feel.

I would mention the thumb holes but let’s be real- all athletic shirts are now sporting the thumb holes – nothing unique here.

I hate to so highly recommend something when even in my opinion, it is a bit pricey. At regular price it is $68 and considering how often I run, not even I can keep up with doing laundry every single day in order to own only one of these tops.

But I have tried other long sleeve tech type tops in order to save some money and they are JUST NOT THE SAME.

If you know you are going to wear something often and you realize the difference between the item you love and the cheaper versions, there are ways to make this work for your budget.


The first word my mother ever taught me to read was SALE. I remember her pointing out the sale signs in the stores and spelling S-A-L-E. While I don’t really love bargain hunting, it is so totally worth it. Especially when you can score a great savings on your favorite workout gear.


I frequently check out Lulu’s “We Made Too Much” section of the website to see what items they have placed on sale. They also have a variety of sale items in the store as well. Make sure you go through all of the Lulu Lemon racks and shelves; the sale items used to be a specific section and now they have mixed all the sale priced items in with the regular priced items.

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I was able to get another Run Swiftly top over the weekend for $54 instead of $68.

**Worth mentioning – The tops I buy from Lulu are sized up from my normal size. I find their tops run small and I like to have some wiggle room. This is quite important if you are going to order online without trying on first. Please note that all sale items from Lulu Lemon are FINAL. My advice – try it on in the store first to know you like it and know your size.

I have also learned to check the clearance racks at other athletic stores, most recently at S.A. Elite (which is the higher end of Sports Authority).

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Not only did they have a huge selection of reduced priced Nike, Asics and Brooks running apparel, everything was an additional 25% off.

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Among the items I ended up purchasing was this Nike Therma-Fit vest. I had been eyeing a regular priced Brooks running vest but it retails for $110.

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You do the math. I saved an additional 25% off of the lowest price of $39.97. Is this even a purchase you have to contemplate?

I already wore it and it kept me quite warm. Is it as warm as the Brooks vest? Not sure but to pay around $31 for a Nike winter running vest I certainly won’t be upset if in the frigid temps I opt to get the Brooks one too.


Would yellow have been my first choice in the Lulu top? No. I naturally gravitate towards the pink, purple, black, gray….anything before yellow. But, the truth is, who cares what color it is? It is worn to keep you warm, dry and comfortable while you run.

Running and working out need not be a fashion show. I am all for looking cute but when it comes to saving a bit on workout clothes, the color I end up with is of little importance.

Most brands put their colored apparel and gear on sale before the basic white, black and gray.

I guarantee that if you stop caring what color you wear, you will notice a lot more deals on the items you love.


Are you familiar with Road Runner Sports?


They have a VIP program and are running a Web-only special: For $1.99 right now, you will receive the following benefits:

  • Best Price Guarantee
  • Test Run- 3-month exchange window if you decide you don’t like a pair of shoes
  • Save 10% on everything
  • Free shipping
  • Additional sales and discounts

Other stores/sites/brands with loyalty programs that can be used online or in store:

ELITE – The S. A. Elite Loyalty program offers you a point for every dollar you spend at both Sports Authority and Elite. In addition to receiving rewards throughout the program, you receive an initial $5 reward just for signing up.

The GAP family of brands – Gap Fit often runs serious sales just like the rest of the store. If you shop, you are often treated to serious sales and frees shipping. The best part is that the sales and deals usually carry over to the other brands on the site – Banana Republic, Athleta, Old Navy and Piperlime.

Bonus – if you have a store credit card, you can save even more depending upon the day and deal at the time.

The bottom line is, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your favorite apparel if you do a little work to find yourself the right deal.


Do you shop around to get the best price on your workout apparel?

Do you swear by any one brand?

Which tops/pants/shorts are your favorite?



















Three Tip Tuesday- Winter Running Accessories

Were you the child whose mother constantly needed to remind them to wear their jacket?

If you were anything like me, you weren’t forgetting to wear your coat; you left it home on purpose. You just didn’t like that extra bulky layer. You didn’t want your arms restricted and couldn’t stand sitting in the car, let alone driving a car while all bundled up.

And worst of all, the coat ruined your outfit.

As a mother now though, I am forever yelling “DON’T FORGET YOUR JACKET!” and have been bundling that kid since birth.

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See what I mean by bundling him since birth. Does he look comfortable?

I still don’t like to wear a coat. In fact, it really needs to be close to or below freezing before I put one on. As it was the day we took this picture.

What I do love though, are winter accessories. My friends and I joke around when we wear our scarves and call it our “coats” but the truth is, I am a firm believer in accessories for warmth.

Same belief applies when I am running. It is all about the winter accessories.

I have been very busy hitting the stores and surfing the websites in search of decent priced, high quality AND CUTE winter running accessories.

I love to save money but there are certain products/apparel/accessories that I will spend top dollars for if I deem them worthy.

I have really found that most Lulu Lemon products are worth it. Between the quality, the fit, the cut and durability, most of the below accessories that I feel we all need are from Lulu.

You can try to save some pennies by finding a similar product but more often than not, the cheaper products will not hold up or provide you with the same satisfaction.

This is when your extreme supermarket couponing pays off – you have the extra money to spend on your workout gear.



Depending upon which study you read, you can lose up to 30% of your body heat from your head. So, if you wear your coat or not, leaving your head uncovered will still leave you cold.

The Lulu Lemon Run With Me Toque is perfect for cold weather runs outdoors. Although I would prefer pink or something prettier than the image below, the specs on this hat win over its appearance.


Key Features (from Lulu Lemon website)

  • soft Rulu™ fabric top and cozy, ribbed Luon® band are stretchy, breathable and sweat wicking
  • Set-My-Ponytail-Free™ window at the back lets you wear your ponytail high and your hat down low
  • you’ve got options – reverse the toque and roll up the band to adjust the fit and look

BONUS  ALTERNATE FIND: I did spot something else that may be perfect for the winter weather season. Although our heads won’t be covered, our ears will:


Say hello to Kate Spade ear muffs complete with ears buds so that we can easily listen to music. Definitely something to add to my holiday wish list.

2. NECK- If my neck is warm, the rest of me feels warm. And on the flip side, if my neck is cold, you can be sure the rest of me is freezing.

If you recall, last year I bought the Brisk Run Neck Warmer scarf from Lulu.


Did I love it? Not sure. It was good because you could pull it up and cover your mouth but it didn’t stay up all that well so I think I am in the market to find a replacement.

I popped into Lulu yesterday to check out their Vinyasa scarf.

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While it is made with Lulu’s “Rulu” running fabric, it is a much bulkier scarf, involves snaps and even has You Tube videos instructing you on the 10 different ways you can wear it.

Key Features:

  • made with soft Rulu (aka running luon)
  • snaps on either end allow you to customize how you wear it
  • wrap it, snap it, wear it loose – the possibilities are endless

Of course I tested it out.


Had it been red, I would be perfect for a remake of Little Red Riding Hood. Or maybe Jackie O?


I would have asked for a sales girl to take my picture but I could not let them know I am the girl with the blog. If you recall, I had a bit of an issue at my local Lulu Lemon store back in May regarding their return policy and really didn’t want to draw attention to myself.

Although, taking pictures of yourself in various scarf poses while wearing sunglasses indoors may not be the most incognito of approaches.

Overall, I do like the Vinyasa scarf – but probably not for running. They said in the store that you can absolutely wear it as a scarf for running but I think it is a bit bulky for the activity.


Once it is below 45 degrees outside, I put the gloves on for a run. I sometimes take them off mid-run, but I would rather start off with warm hands than end with frost-bite.

The problem over the years has been playing around with my phone while wearing gloves.

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Enter the touch screen gloves. It seems like every brand has adapted to our tech savvy world so we can keep our fingers toasty while still being able to play with our phones.

But, and this is a big but, not every brand is making their gloves with the sweat-wicking material we need when we run.

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These cozy North Face gloves are awesome- but not for my morning runs.

Instead, I intend to get the Lulu Frisky Brisk Run gloves.


Key Features:

  • wind- and water-resistant Softshell fabric on top helps you stay warm and dry
  • soft, moisture-wicking Rulu on the palms
  • touchscreen-friendly fingertips let you text, talk and tweet without pulling off your gloves
  • reflective detailing helps keep you bright in low light
  • stretchy ribbed cuffs keep their shape




Maybe it is the 80’s child in me, but leg warmers are awesome. These Lulu Falling Freely leg warmers are perfect for covering our legs when we have cropped pants or shorts on while we go to and from the gym.

I think I love them so much that I will purposely dress inappropriately for the weather just so I can wear the leg warmers wherever I go.

Good thing I am an adult otherwise my mother would have what to say. Guaranteed she will chime in any way after reading this post.



Do you hate wearing your jacket?

What are your must-have winter weather accessories?

Do you have the Vinyasa scarf? How do you wear it?



Bust Cubby Giveaway!

You know it is fall when you have a hard time peeling yourself out of your comfy bed and pajamas in fear of the cold air and chill that occurs when getting dressed.

Yesterday morning I quickly contemplated the unplanned rest day idea. I was cold, I was tired and I might have even been a bit cranky.

But, I decided that since I was already up, I might as well push myself to get dressed and tackle just 30 minutes on the elliptical, knowing that I would feel much better afterwards.

I really struggled to get dressed but I am telling you, once I put my favorite Lulu top on, I instantly felt a bit better.

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I realize my face is cut off but the point of the above photo is not only to look at my pretty purple top but to check out my Bust Cubby that is peeking out from my tank.

I mentioned last week that I was introduced to the Bust Cubby at the Healthy Brand Showcase.

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A little bit of info from the Bust Cubby website:

If you are looking for a unique, water-resistant case that will fit your cell phone, credit cards, Mp3 player, passport, insulin pump, pepper spray, epi-pen, keys, makeup/compact or any of your other essentials, you have come to the right place! The Bust Cubby was originally designed to strap to your bra or tank top, but you can also attach your Bust Cubby to the inside of your boot strap, purse strap, belt loop or lanyard! 

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It is true. Your Bust Cubby can hold your phone and/or other essentials attached to places other than a tank strap or bra . I can totally see myself or my friends attaching it to diaper bags, gym bags or any bag that tends to be a bottomless pit which keeps us from locating our phones and essentials quickly.

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While I don’t wear cowboy boots (although I used to love my Justin boots back in the day) the girls had them on display at the showcase so you can see that yes, the Bust Cubby certainly attaches and tucks away nicely.

I couldn’t wait to test out wearing my leopard printed Bust Cubby attached to my tank top during my runs. While my pants/shorts/skirts always have a place for my key, I was excited to have a secure place to put my phone that would still allow me access and most importantly, allow me to listen to music.

I ran 10 miles with the Bust Cubby securely in place. I didn’t even notice it was there. It was so freeing to run without holding my phone and the wire to my earbuds did not tangle up once.

It is very easy to access your phone from the Bust Cubby too. I tried my best not to, I even controlled myself when a song came on my playlist that I didn’t like but if I needed to use my phone, I had no issue taking it out of the case and putting back, all while still running at a pretty quick pace.

I know, I am so multi-talented.

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Bust Cubbys are totally machine washable (just don’t put them in the dryer) and come in a variety of patterns as well as different sizes depending upon the make of your phone.

Concerned about Radio Frequency and your phone being so close to your body?

From their website: We take this subject seriously.  Our President questioned two separate Oncologists (one was an actual Breast Specialist) who discredited the validity of a link between the two.   The 100%Copper Radio frequency shield will not keep you from absorbing all radio frequency waves coming to your phone, however, according to the manufacturer, the Copper fabric used in this shield can block 99.9% of RF signals.   It is intended as a shield only to lessen the absorption rate into the body when wearing your cell phone inside the Bust Cubby as well as providing a RF Identity shield for your credit cards. 

Just make sure to remove the RF shield prior to washing.

Ok friends, GIVEAWAY TIME!

Do you want your very own Bust Cubby plus Radio Frequency Shield? Of course you do.

Between now and October 1, 2013, leave a comment on this post explaining why you want a Bust Cubby and/or where you would attach it.

One winner will be randomly selected from among all eligible comments received.

Simple enough, yes?



Where would you attach your Bust Cubby?

Do you have trouble getting out of bed as it gets colder?


*I received a Bust Cubby free of charge; no further compensation was given for this post. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.


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