Snowy Week in Workouts (One Run + Lots of MWH Method)

Writing a recap of last week’s workouts feels so weird at the moment. Like to even think that we had over 16 inches of snow early on in the week actually blows my mind. That was only last week? My days are blending together a little too much.

I wasn’t able to run all week until Saturday but to be honest, I didn’t totally notice or mind. It was nice to not bundle up in layers for a workout. Not to mention, I’m LOVING the Melissa Wood Health workouts that I’ve been doing so very much. I can’t say enough good things about the platform and really can’t wait until I can combine a 20 – 30 minute flow with a nice walk outdoors on a regular basis.

I did throw in a Barre3 Cardio workout early on in the week just for that extra cardio blood pumping boost. It’s nice to have a variety of indoor options and with the internet, we totally do so there’s really no excuse. Can’t run outside and don’t have a treadmill? Find something else to do. You have options.

Monday – 25 Min MWH Method Cardio Warm-Up + Full Body Flow/18 Power Pilates Focused Leg Flow

Tuesday – 30 Min Barre3 Cardio Workout/15 Min MWH Method Arms & Abs Flow

Wednesday – 29 Min MWH Method Full Body Strong Power Series

Oh my, this workout was great but oh my, my inner thighs are sore from yesterday’s Barre3 workout! It’s either just from Barre3 or the combo from Monday’s focused leg flow and the squats in Barre3 – either way, I’m sore.

They cleared my running path today so I went outside for a really quick walk in the afternoon. It’s not ready for running though because, by morning, it will ice over again.

snowy path

Thursday – 35 Min MWH Method Full Body Flow

Still a little sore in my inner thighs but it’s okay, I love these flows so much.

I did walk around the city today — my boyfriend surprised me with a quick return to town (or shall I say, return to the country!)

It was beautiful outside. I kept saying it felt like spring since it was in the high 30’s with bright sun.

freedom tower

You know I freak a little bit every time I’m downtown near the Freedom Tower and World Trader Center site. You can read my September 11 post here if you are interested.

Friday – 33 Min MWH Method Full Body Yoga/Pilates Flow

Saturday – 3 Mile Run/30 Min Walk

I ran three miles easy because there was just no way I could pick up the pace while dodging ice and watching for black ice too. Three miles running was enough. I switched to a walk to finish things up.

running in winter

Sunday – 40 Min Full Body Yoga/Pilates Flow/16 Min Abs Focused Flow

More snow today (!!) so even if I wanted to run or walk outside, it wouldn’t have been the best idea.


I’m not totally sure if/when I can get outside this week to run. It’s cold and icy, with snow on the ground and maybe more on the way. I will take it day by day I guess!

I’m Trying A New Online Workout Platform (workout recap)

The title of this post might be a little misleading. I am trying a new online workout platform but the platform itself is not exactly new, it’s just new to me.

After moving away from my Pure Barre On Demand subscription in the last year, I knew at some point I would likely sign up for another online workout platform. But I wasn’t rushing my decision. I figured I would work with the free online options until I could figure out exactly which direction I wanted to go with my at-home workouts.

Even though I do like Barre3, I kinda knew that I didn’t want another barre platform. I also knew that my interest in yoga only continued to increase.

I started following Melissa Wood Health on Instagram a while back based upon recommendations. Right away I liked her personality, and the workouts it sppeared she offered. She shares a terrific mix of yoga and pilates with a philosophy I can get behind too. Her workouts aren’t too long and include a range of yoga and pilates along with targeted strength workouts, pre/post-natal options, and meditation as well. Oh, and there’s some treadmill stuff but I don’t need that so I didn’t really look at it to tell you about it.

MWH Method


While I’m totally not at all ready to give a true review, here’s what I like thus far about MWH Method and why I signed up for the free trial:

Short workout options: It’s nice to find workouts, platforms, and people/instructors who understand that less is more.

I can easily fit the 10-20 minute workouts into my routine. These workouts are perfect for me in the winter to do in those minutes before it’s light enough outside to head out for a short run or walk.

During the spring/summer months, the shorter workout options are great once again for the days when I walk and don’t run. I run longer distances when it’s warmer outside so I wouldn’t necessarily add on to those workout days. But my walk days? For sure.

Easy to combine: With so many shorter workout options, I can combine them to create my own workout.

Longer workout options: When I say longer, I mean 30-45 minutes. The 30 – 45-minute workout options are perfect for the days when I don’t run. I don’t need more than this and if anything, I can tack on a 10-minute focused workout if I felt like it. In the summer, I can always pair these workouts with a walk.

Yoga and pilates are becoming my favorites. I never would have guessed that yoga would become a workout I enjoy, but it is. Pure Barre was a blend of barre, yoga, and pilates but if you ask me, it was much more pilates than yoga. I like that MWH Method incorporates pilates because I do feel like I am getting elements from Pure Barre still in my routine.

Low-Impact: It’s so important to not over-stress the body. Running is stressful enough, the rest of my workouts should balance that out with low-impact, gentle yet effective options.

Yoga and pilates are low-impact and make you feel good as you do it but oh my, they burn. I like the challenge and strength/balance they build without stressing my body. MWH Method looks easy at first glance — it is not!

Mostly bodyweight: I appreciate that MWH Method workouts are mostly bodyweight strength workouts with maybe the addition of very light weights. I’ve never been into heavy-weight strength workouts so this is perfect for me. If you have yet to try bodyweight strength workouts, I really suggest you do – it’s not as easy as you think.

Kindness to fitness: It’s nice to see workouts that focus on being gentle, kind, and happy throughout the exercises. Melissa takes a calming, positive approach to the movements, making you look forward to what you are doing and at peace with it even when it challenges you. I really look forward to the exercises and feel good about doing it.

The MWH Method menu is so nicely organized. New workouts are added each week and listed at the top. From there the workouts are organized by time and also by focus. It’s super easy to navigate! This is refreshing after my experience with Pure Barre On Demand changing to Pure Barre GO. That menu was a disaster and one of the main reasons I stopping using the platform.

Price: While I’m currently in the free trial period, the MWH Method cost is $9.99/month or $99 for the year. This is EXTREMELY reasonable and costs even less than what I paid at beta-pricing for Pure Barre On Demand.

I will keep you posted next week to see how I’m continuing to like the workouts!

Here is a recap from my workouts over the last week…

Monday – 5 Miles

I was off from work today so I slept a little late and took my time getting outside to run. Windy and sunny but not too cold — totally acceptable for January running.

Tuesday – 45 Min Yoga Flow

Wednesday – 10 Min Barre3/30 Min Run

I quickly found this  Barre3 workout to do while waiting for enough daylight outside to run. Although, I really wasn’t expecting it to be snowing during my 30-minute run. I mean, I did watch the news and they did mention “snow up in the clouds” but no one said the snow was going to be falling on me and cover the ground. By the time I finished, snow was starting to cover the ground and fully covered it a few minutes later.

running path

Thursday – 20 Min Body Weight Workout/3 Mile Run

I did my first MWH Method workout today! The website offers a free 19-minute full-body workout using own body weight before you sign up. It was a great, efficient workout so I decided to sign up for the free trial.

Friday – 30 Min Full Body Yoga + Pilates Flow

Enjoyed this 30-minute flow — not easy and definitely felt it in a good way.

Saturday – 30 Min Dance Warm-Up Full Body Flow + 24 Min Yoga/Pilates Stretching Flow

I made the decision not to run today because I thought it was too cold only to learn it would be even colder tomorrow. OOPS. In any case, I combined two Melissa Wood Healh workouts because I’m eager to try them all!

Sunday – 10 Min Arms + 6 Miles

I really wanted to run so I heavily bundled up the real feel temperature of 10 degrees. It honestly wasn’t bad! I started first with the 10-minute arms workout using only bodyweight.


I Don’t Enjoy Winter Running But I Do It Anyway (workout recap)

Happy New Year and Happy first Monday of 2021! If you’ve come here looking for new year resolutions, goals, and inspiration in that direction, you are in the wrong place. I’m not a resolution person or goal setter – never was and never will be. I just do my thing each day without having to think, plan, and worry about meeting my own expectations. 

I was off from work last week so it was really nice to sleep later and not be on a tight morning schedule. The weather wasn’t too cold for running outside but I still don’t enjoy winter running. I’m dealing, but I’m not thrilled. The older I get, the more I appreciate the warm weather!

I did my best to push myself out the door, reminding myself that I had the time, I wasn’t in a rush, that I should take advantage of the decent winter weather, and most importantly, that I would be happy AFTER my run.

Overall for right now, I’m taking each winter week as it comes. I just keep telling myself to do the best I can running-wise for the next few months and then my running mood will improve with the return of spring/summer weather.

Also! Can we please count the major closet cleanouts I tackled last week as part of my workouts?! Literally every single day of the break, I tackled a closet or drawer for cleaning and organizing. I’m so happy with the progress I made throughout the week. My son’s room was my biggest challenge – he doesn’t even notice what I did in there though. BOYS.

Monday – 6 Miles

I felt like running today and hadn’t run a speed workout in quite a while. The weather felt warm today (40’s)  — I even took off my gloves.

Here’s what I did:

  • mile 1 – warm-up
  • mile 2 – alternating .25 hard/.25 easy
  • mile 3 – .50 hard/.10 easy/.40 hard
  • mile 4 – .25 easy/.75 hard
  • mile 5 – .10 easy/.30 hard/.10 easy/.30 hard/.10 easy/.10 hard
  • mile 6 – cool down

Tuesday – 45 Min Barre

I still like the barre workouts from Lifetime.

barre workout from lifetime

Wednesday – 6 Miles

27 degrees and totally not in the mood to run BUT  I am off from work this week so I just had to bundle up and head outside. It was really important for me to take advantage of running this week when I could. I wasn’t in a rush and didn’t have to run too early, so how could I not run? I wasn’t necessarily cold, but I felt the cold air and it annoyed me. Either way, I was out there and going to finish up the six miles I loosely planned because mental workouts are as important as physical. Mentally I needed to push myself today and not give up since I had no reason to head home early. I was happy when I finished!

Thursday – 45 Min Yoga Flow

It was raining this morning although I didn’t mind because I didn’t feel like running anyway.

lifetime yoga flow

Friday – 5 Miles

Another mental battle to get out there and run in the cold. Gosh, I really don’t like winter running! But I will do it anyway when it’s not bitterly cold and I have the time. I’m happy when I finish which is what I tell myself before I start.

Saturday – 5 Miles/10 Min Pure Barre Seat & Abs

I had a little more desire to run this morning which likely had something to do with temperatures in the 40’s.

The 10-minute Pure Barre seat & abs workout is committed to my memory so I added it on after my run and before getting in the shower.

Sunday – 45 Min Pure Barre

When I want to return to my roots for a classic Pure Barre workout, I do this 45 minute Pure Barre Foundations workout which is available for free on youtube.

pure barre

Have a great week!

Thinking Ahead To Winter Running (plus weekly workout recap)

While I’m in the midst of enjoying my favorite season for running, I’m also thinking ahead to winter running. Even though I’m totally someone who lives in the present and really knows how to NOT to overthink things before they even might happen, I am giving thought to what winter running may look like this year. It may be very different.

The gym in my community has yet to reopen. I haven’t needed a treadmill since before the pandemic shut things down but come winter, this may become an issue. Running in the bitter cold is not my favorite and the dark dreary mornings leave me with little desire/time to run outside.

I decided to give this possible winter running situation some advanced thought so that I’m prepared. I may not have my usual gym only steps away from my front door this winter. However, I do still have my options for running and winter workouts. We always have options!

Here’s the plan, in case you were curious:

1 – I don’t need to run. That’s right, I don’t need to run. If I can’t get outside because there’s too much snow or ice, or if it’s just too darn cold and I don’t want to, I have indoor virtual workout options that make me happy too. Running is great but it’s not the only workout option. I can fill my workout time with workouts I like from Lifetime including Warrior Sculpt, Kickboxing, and Xtreme, and hey, there’s Pure Barre too. Plenty to do if I can’t get outside to run.

2 – I can plan my outdoor runs around the weather and daylight. I don’t love winter running as I once did. I won’t ever run in the dark and really don’t like to run when it’s too cold. That being said, I can plan to run on weekends when I can get outside later in the morning which means more sun and perhaps a slightly warmer feeling. There are ways to make this happen. Maybe not my typical four days a week but even two days would be great. And really, it certainly can’t hurt to layer up and try running more than I usually would if I had a treadmill option in the winter. I used to do it, I can try doing it again.

3 – My parents have a treadmill. If all else fails and I really want to run but need to/want to do it indoors, I can always use the treadmill at my parents’ house. Under the assumption that my gym is closed but I can safely go into my parents’ house, this is totally an option.

The dark, dreary, and cold winter months are only a few months. Even if we experience a brutal winter of frigid temperatures and/or several snowstorms, the likelihood of being able to get outside to run at least once or twice a week is still extremely likely. It will all be just fine. 🙂

Okay now let’s move on to last week’s very summery workouts. It’s hot out there!

Long Beach

Monday – 50 Min Walk/Strength

I made up my own quick strength routine that was maybe 20 minutes long.

Tuesday – 6 Miles

A little cooler than yesterday but hey, it’s a heatwave. It’s hot.

While nothing formal, the first mile was a warm-up and then I mixed things up with random inetrvals: 1 X 1, 2 X 1, 3 X 1, 4 X 1, and 5 X 1.

Wednesday – 45 Min Pure Barre

Thursday – 30 Min Run/Yoga

Sometimes I like to run through my own yoga practice. I know enough by now to spend 20 minutes going through many of the poses which gives me such a great stretch. I’ve noticed a major increase in my flexibility lately too.

Friday – 5 Miles

I thought I would run 3 easy miles but I stayed outside for 5, all before it rained!

Saturday – 20 Min Pure Barre/3 Mile Walk

Sunday – 7.50 Miles (boardwalk)

I’m absolutely loving my boardwalk runs this summer!

I did ask Laura in advance for some advice on what I can possibly do to not slow from the weather during the second half of the run. If that’s even possible. Lately, I am starting out pretty quick for a summer run on the boardwalk but I’m afraid to force myself to start slow because I just don’t think I would pick things up at that point because the heat and sun tire me out regardless.

Here’s what she said:

“Do a warm jog separate from the run, just like 5-10 minutes without tracking it to loosen up. Then jump in at a moderate effort and pick up from there. A warm-up will help you hold onto the fast pace longer and separating it is beneficial mentally.”

I always value Laura’s expertise so I listened to what she said to do, running my usual walk from the car to the boardwalk. It was only a couple of minutes (I had to go to the bathroom so I didn’t continue this warm-up) but I think it made a difference.


It was another excellent boardwalk run. Yes, it was very hot with no shade but there is a breeze and it’s not a race. I started out under 9 again and held consistent around 8:45 min/mile before slowing in the last couple of miles (as usual). I just don’t think during a heatwave that I can help that.

This time, however, I didn’t feel as dead towards the end and even continued my cooldown an extra half of mile. I could have kept going. Maybe it’s because I added those warm-up minutes in this morning prior to starting my run or maybe it’s because I just held more consistent without speeding up in the 7’s/low 8’s. Who really knows. Bottom line is, I feel great running in the heat and enjoy every second of these beach runs this summer. Next weekend I will try extending the warm-up jog and jumping in slightly faster to the actual run. Although no matter what, I do think I will slow if it’s still this hot outside.

brooks ghost 12

So I hear the new Brooks Ghost 13’s will be out this weekend! I’m excited to see the color options and try them as my next pair. I’ve heard the toe box is a little wider which is always nice for me. I like a wide toe box.

Have a great week!

Sometimes We Need To Run On Autopilot


It made my day yesterday to find out that I was included in this list of top 75 running blogs to follow in 2017!

I was so honored to be recognized and included with so many other amazing running bloggers that my heart was warmed immediately, which by the way, was most definitely needed as my car read 5 DEGREES.

5 degrees is some serious cold!

car temperature

Today’s post is a quick one and centers around yesterday’s treadmill run.

Here’s what happened:

I woke up early, as usual, but totally didn’t feel like running.

The thought of bundling up to go over to the treadmill in my gym just seemed so BLAH.

I went through my Monday morning motions by starting with a Pure Barre Studio Series DVD under the assumption I would run on the treadmill when I finished the workout.

pure barre studio series

All through Pure Barre, my mind contemplated not running.

There’s nothing wrong with skipping your run. Skipping today’s run will rest your legs and get them excited for tomorrow’s run! 

But you didn’t even run yesterday. And you ran a shorter long run on Saturday. Why skip today?

It’s so cold outside. Why would you leave the house?

It’s really okay to not be in the mood to run. It happens to everyone. Maybe not to you very often but it’s okay that it happens to you once in a while, especially in the winter.

You know what? It’s even okay to take a week off. Maybe you should do that.

Maybe it’s time to take up spinning. Or maybe give up cardio for a week and only do Pure Barre workouts.  

Cross training is great!

But maybe I will just run 3 miles. What’s 3 miles? I can do 3 miles in my sleep.

At some point I silenced my head and bundled myself up to leave the house.

I shuffled over to the gym in many layers being careful of the ice patches, whimpering my way there if you want to know the truth under the assumption that only crazy people leave their homes this early in the morning in the dead of winter to exercise.

But then I got on the treadmill.

My legs got going as if they were attached to someone else completely, as if they were just so unaware of the thought processes taking place in my brain all morning during Pure Barre.

My legs felt fresh and happy to be running, not even looking for the warm up paces that I always set myself to run for the first two miles on the treadmill.

To say that my mind was utterly confused is an understatement. It was as if my brain stood there shocked, separate from the rest of my body saying something similar to, UM WTF.

And then I just went along with it.

I ended up running 4 miles, holding pace at 7.5 for most of the run. If I didn’t need to get home, I probably would have kept running!

My point today is that sometimes we just need to run on autopilot, especially in the winter.

While there are certainly days to skip our workouts, most of the time we just need to stop thinking about it and go through the motions to get ourselves out the door.

It’s very rare that we will regret it.

[bctt tweet=”Running on Autopilot is the way to get through winter workouts! #running #run #treadmill #fitfluential #runner ” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

Where is your running motivation right now?

Do you give in to your mood when you don’t feel like running or do you try to go on autopilot?

Are you running today? Outside or on the treadmill?

Workout Recap (12.5.16 – 12.11.16)


I ran six days this week and of the six days, four of my runs took place outside! Granted I have needed to bundle up and wear my layers but running four days outside in the fresh air is a good balance for the days indoors on the treadmill.

My lululemon winter running accessories from the last few years (hat/fluff over mittens/neckwarmer) are still wearing/washing as new so this is my winning combo once again for this cold weather season!

lululemon winter running accessories

Related: Winter Weather Workout Favorites

Hopefully I get lucky this winter with limited ice and snow days so that I can continue to run outside until the warm weather returns. Have I mentioned that I am not at all interested in the cold weather and winter months this year?

Yeah, I am already looking forward to March in a major way.

a look at my week in workouts including running and pure barre

Monday – In The Gym (6 Miles)

Between the early morning darkness and rain, in the gym was the smartest place for me to be.

I broke up my treadmill in 3 sets of 2 miles each with strength exercises in between:

Miles 1, 2: Warm up

Free weights (upper body)

Miles 3, 4: Speed between 6.8 – 8.0


Miles 5, 6: Speed between 7.0 – 8.0

Of course I do not know the technical name for this rope thing but I have always liked it for tricep exercises. I got up to 22 pounds I think which is a lot for me! I DO NOT have great upper body strength but I do notice improvements.

in the gym weights

Tuesday – 8 Miles

I ran later than I normally do which always throws me off but the sun was up and shining so I was happy.

It looks to me like Runkeeper changed their splits screen this week – the numbers are bigger. I was able to screenshot 7 out of the 8 miles which is fine since the last mile was a cool down.

runkeeper splits

Wednesday – Pure Barre/5 Miles

I started super early with a Pure Barre Mile High Series DVD (30 minutes) and then left to get my son from my parents (because I was out in the city last night so he slept there) and then I brought him to school AND THEN came home to run 5 miles outside. Another later than normal run time for me but at least it was outside!

I thought I would run much slower and didn’t think I would run 5 miles but somewhere between the third and fourth mile I decided to keep going. Not sure why mile 5 is displaying as mile 1 in the splits?

runkeeper splits

Thursday – In The Gym (7 Miles)

I woke up in a mood for no reason at all and really didn’t feel like running but I did anyway because 1) my legs weren’t in a mood 2) I would have felt worse to skip my workout.

Another treadmill run where I split the miles with weights in between:

3.5 miles < – 2 mile warm up plus 1.5 fast

off for free weights (upper body)

3.5 miles < – speed intervals to make it go by quick! (like between 7.0 – 8.0)

Friday – Pure Barre/5 Miles

I went with the second DVD in the Pure Barre Mile High Series (35 minutes) before a cold but not windy so totally bearable 5 miles outside.

Pure Barre Mile High

Saturday – 12 Miles

I thought I was in the mood for a long run until around mile 2 when I felt that overall tired feeling that happens when I run in the cold even though I wasn’t actually feeling the cold since I was bundled in layers.

It certainly takes extra work and motivation to run in the super cold and/or super hot weather, at least for me!

In my head I thought I would go 13 miles but dropped it down to JUST MAKE IT TO TEN MILES and then ended up going 12 miles.

That’s usually how things go for me. I play the game of “just make it to x amount of miles” usually knowing I will continue beyond that point although if I do decide to stop, I am satisfied with reaching the goal I set.

Sunday – Pure Barre

I am definitely not running but will most likely pick the Pure Barre Pure Results (featured focus on focus on thighs) workout.

In case you missed my round-up running workouts that I shared this week, check it out here!

Awesome collection of running workouts that are perfect for running outside or on the treadmill!

[bctt tweet=”workouts from the week! #workoutrecap #running #treadmill #lululemon #fitlfuential #purebarre @pure_barre” username=”cookiechrunicle”]

Is it super cold where you live? Have you been running outside anyway?

How to motivate yourself to continue a run when part of you wants to stop?

Best thing you ate so far this weekend? Did you see the brownies I shared on Instagram?!

Having Control And Carbon Monoxide Scare


I wasn’t supposed to run yesterday but I woke up to warm weather (warm is a relative term here) and the sun shining.

No runner is giving up a brief hiatus from this Polar Vortex, rest day or not.


My last four runs have taken place outside.


A rainy run I don’t mind all that much, it’s the dodging ice runs that I could really do without.

I was super confident when I headed out Saturday morning at my usual time that it was actually warm enough for the ground to cooperate. I was wrong.

You should know that I was so angry at the ice interfering with my run that I am pretty sure I let out a growl. Not even a string of inappropriate words, an actual growl.

I couldn’t pick up my pace in fear of falling. I couldn’t get in a good groove. All because of the ice.

Sometimes it can be frustrating when you envision things going a certain way and an outside force interferes.


I like to be in control of a situation, don’t you? I like to run how, where and when I want to and really don’t need the weather chiming in to say otherwise.

After my growl, I told myself to calm down and just enjoy being outdoors.

The beauty of running outdoors is that my mind naturally wanders. It unleashes to explore, seeking clarity and understanding regarding anything going on in my life at the moment.

And then, the lightbulb went off:

We encounter so many different situations in our lives where things seem so completely out of our control…but…. are we ever really powerless?

Take this icy run for example: While the weather was interfering with what I wanted to do, I wasn’t powerless.

I did have the option to wait an extra hour for the ground to warm up or, at the very least, run on the treadmill. But I am stubborn, a creature of habit and really didn’t want to be cooped up inside.

Can you see what I am getting at? We have the power to make our own choices in how we react to a situation that seems completely out of our control. We have more control than we think.

Now, let’s take my insatiable appetite that woke me up early Saturday morning (2:30 am) to the point where if I didn’t get out of bed and eat something, I was going to be sick.

While it may seem I was being overpowered by my raging runner appetite, I was in complete control of what I chose to put in my mouth. Oatmeal and a piece of a banana always does the trick.


We always have choices. We cannot control the weather, other people or various situations that occur in our everyday personal and professional lives, but we can control our reactions and how we handle ourselves.

Sometimes we feel stuck, as if we are powerless. And sometimes, for a brief moment, this may very well be true. But, if you stop to think about it, you have the power to get unstuck. You have the power to make decisions about how you will handle your emotions in a way that helps you to feel more in control.

There are times though that things happen unexpectedly, such as what occurred Saturday night at the very same Cheesecake Factory I dined at only 24 hours before.

You may or may not have seen in the news (I am pretty sure it became national news) The Cheesecake Factory was evacuated along with Panera Bread and Legal Sea Foods due to a serious carbon monoxide scare.

carbon monoxide

The manager of Legal Seafoods died and several others were treated at local hospitals.

Such an awful story, especially so close to my home and even more so because I was there the night before.

I received several phones calls asking me what I would have done if I was evacuated while eating my cake. Of course you take it with you and run for your life.

In all seriousness, you cannot control things that may happen but you can help minimize the damage. Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector in your house. I have been through my own carbon monoxide scare in the past; without that detector, I may not have been here to keep Red Mango in business.

unnamed (199)

Same ingredients, two different ways on two different days.

unnamed (200)

The Panera Bread that was evacuated is the same one I work from most of the time. I believe it is still closed this morning so I will have to set up shop at the other one in my area.

No big deal, right? Wrong. Red Mango just opened right next door.

I may have to leave my wallet at home.


Did you get to run outside over the weekend?

Do you have a carbon monoxide detector in your house?

What are you having for lunch today? I haven’t even had breakfast yet but I am already up to lunch ideas.


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:

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

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?






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